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No Challenge, No Change!

When I was a teenager, I was very insecure and emotional about who I was. I always thought I wasn’t good enough, which affected my success at school, in sports, and daily life. Instead of acting to improve in these areas, I became angry and acted foolishly, being young and not knowing how to understand those feelings or where they came from.

An excellent example was during my senior year and my final track and field season in High School. The freshman and sophomore classes were very competitive, and during practices, I hated that I wasn’t the dominant one in the circuit. It made me less confident, and I wasn’t working as hard as I used to and wasn’t having fun because I wasn’t winning easily. It was the first time that I allowed my insecurities and selfishness to be exposed. I didn’t even realize that my team was having great success and that I was still doing well because I had an agenda and didn’t like not having all the attention. I learned a precious lesson from that experience, but it wasn’t until my oldest son struggled during the track season of his freshman year of college that I could share what I learned.  

In watching my son struggle, I had to pull him aside and let him know it’s all in your head. Your worth is not valued by comparing yourself to others and winning. It’s about improving, meeting your goals, and being realistic about where you are. I told him he needed to create small personal goals for himself, and once he hit that goal, he would create another one. I told him they chose him for a reason, and it was about building his confidence and finding a balance that he’s learning on the journey.

When he evaluated where he was, it made life better for him. Even when he wasn’t successful, he understood better what he needed to do to be better. He didn’t get depressed about it and continued working hard. There was a period when he was consistent and dependable in his running times and jumps, but he set goals each week for a breakthrough and accepted each little win.

It’s easy for us to start our year being lofty and unrealistic with our goals. We call those resolutions. However, you need to create a balanced and small-step goal for yourself and create another and another once accomplished. Creating building blocks toward sustainability. A winner's mindset is to have a dream and create a plan or goal list to accomplish it. If we dream big with no plan or small-step process to get there, it’s just hype and pageantry. Don’t be like me! I gave up on myself because I didn’t know how to manage what I felt about myself, and I didn’t create a small-step process to help make my goals more achievable. Poor choices and negative influences took my chances out the door, and even with the colleges trying to get my attention, I opted to go in a different direction. I regret that I didn’t believe in myself and my abilities and didn’t know how much I loved it until it was too late. I regret that I couldn’t overcome the mental stress of not consistently winning and didn’t work harder to achieve my goals.

However, I am glad I was able to correct that mistake with my son. Even though he continues to struggle to get into his head, he did run track in college, and it paid the majority of his way. He graduated college using his skills and talents, and I am glad my experiences could contribute to his success. I was able to share my failure and help him create action around an area of opportunity in his own life. The greatest thing we can do for our child is to normalize their struggle so they don’t feel alone or depressed about it. So, I call that ending on a make.

If you have a goal, what is the one small step you can take today? Challenge yourself to start thinking about where you are and where you want to be. You may be closer than you think; one small step could get you there.

The journey starts with a single step!



Your Positive Advancement Family.

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