Thursday, 16 August 2012

Being Real With Your Goals

 Series: From Super Model to Muay Thai Fighter.
Being Real With Your Goals.

Hello out there!  It’s been quite a while since I last posted, which ties into the topic of this blog.  
As I mentioned in my first post, anxiety has long been a battle for me. 

At present, I have a deep fear of taking responsibility for my abilities, because if I do but don’t succeed, I am afraid that my worth will be confirmed as a failure.  Even in the case of writing for this blog, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to come up with anything of value.  I always worry about not living up to the hopes I have for myself, and I think that this impedes my journey of becoming that person.  Even in my training, I have unrealistic expectations for myself that align with the future version of ‘Hilary’ that I hope to someday become, and this prevents me from achieving success in the now and fully embodying the current phase of my progress.  Even in the middle of a workout or sparring session, if I feel that I am not performing to the imaginary standards of my potential self, I become frustrated and negatively reinforce my attitude.  I am afraid to experiment with new weight lifting or fight techniques because I don’t want to risk exposing my inexperience or inability, and finding out (or worse, having others find out) that I’m not actually the all star that I like to pretend I am.  

It’s like a person who, during a disagreement, doesn’t healthily assert their position and opinions, feels walked over, and then later comes up with all of the excessively aggressive arguments they ‘should have said’ to bolster themselves because they haven’t yet learned not to place their identity in their own opinions or those of others. 

Essentially, I’m afraid to learn and am resistant to the learning process.  There is incongruence between my ego and my actual self: my ego is over inflated to make up for my fear of being exposed and lack of confidence in my ability to achieve my dreams.  

When I first told my fight coach after a couple of months of training that I wanted to someday get in the ring, I cried with embarrassment because I didn’t believe I was capable of such a dream…and anyone else who knew me at the time would have (and did) laugh at me when they caught wind of my new passion and ambitions.  But my first fight was a specific and attainable goal; he couldn’t promise me that I would win it (which I happened to), but my fight coach promised that he could get me there. 
I will strive to work hard at overcoming myself in order to earn my future skill set, becoming humbly responsible with what I have achieved, and no longer arrogantly inflating my abilities to make up for my weaknesses.  
Even if I were handed my dreams tomorrow they wouldn’t be enough because I wouldn’t have traveled the hard road and become the person capable of happily inhabiting them.  It is the process that will change me, make me stronger, smooth the calloused and sharpened edges of my ego, and transform my worth into something more meaningful than any goal reached ever could.

These realizations have been in the forefront of my mind for the past week or two, because Coach Swagar had kindly offered to help me in setting my personal goals.  I have never actually tried narrowing down my vast and vague hopes for the future, and can’t say I did a particularly good job. 

My dreams are lofty, and I’m terrified of admitting them to anyone else because I’m afraid they are going to tell me that they’re not possible.  

So when Jenn saw some of my goals, she explained to me that they were ‘unattainable’.  Immediately my defenses went up, embarrassed for having been caught overestimating my abilities.  However, she then explained to me what she meant by that, which was that if there were more than two uncontrollable factors influencing my goals, they were ‘unattainable’ in the sense that I could not safely be certain that I could achieve them by my own powers.  For instance, many of my goals are outcome based, such as ‘winning’ a fight, which is out of my control because there is another person involved.  In logic I don’t actually care whether I win or not, I just want to perform to the best of my abilities and if that brings about a win: great, if not, then knowing I did the best I could is enough.  
Therefore, I need to shift my perspective from ‘outcome based’ goals to ‘performance based’ goals.I feel that such a transition in mindset will help me not only in setting realistic, shorter-sighted performance goals that will boost my confidence as I find them within my reach, but also will improve the quality of my current training as I learn to be satisfied with, and proud of, where I am currently at. 

If my smaller goals build upon one another and bring me to my ultimate aspirations, then they will have become attainable.  But it’s not even about that: I understand that the purpose is the journey, not the destination.


1 comment:

  1. I love this! And I love that you have a blog! Keep up the good work and remember, it is not the achieving but the journey for any true warrior would not be satisfied with arriving for in the distance lies the eternal horizon. It is why the earth is round.