Some of us face challenges feeling empowered and confident in our abilities. The thrill of coming out on the other side victorious or even the process of change is energizing. It’s just in our nature to face challenges, obstacles or hardships head on.
Many folks, however, struggle with feeling competent for the task. We doubt our abilities or if the outcome is even worth the struggle. We question if we really have what it takes to do it right and get hung up on what could happen while in process. We reel when we mess up and condemn ourselves when it happens more than once.
On a recent family trip to the beach, my husband, two sons and I took surfing lessons. Before hitting the water, we reviewed the basic water and board safety, difference between right foot and goofy (left) foot, how to pop up, when to pop up, where to land on the board, not to ride the wave into shore (break the fin), how to paddle and how to spot a wave. Whew! When we finally got in the water, my head was spinning with questions: Did I choose the right foot, what if I paddle wrong, what if I don’t land right on the board, how do I know if this is the right wave, do I lift with my arms first or my legs? I was SO caught up in the endless questions that it wasn’t fun. I was thinking about everything that should go right that I didn’t allow anything to go right. After 30 minutes, I nearly gave up. The challenge felt too big for me to conquer and statements of self-doubt flooded my mind. So I grabbed the board, walked out of the water, sat on the shoreline looking at everyone else in the water and took a deep breath. I evaluated my intention for the day… I do not intend to become the next Kelly Slater. I simply want to have fun. I want to have fun with my family, enjoy the energy of the ocean, the beauty of the beach and share in the utter excitement of surfing with my sons. And that’s exactly what I did, after a little self-pep-talk. I stopped trying to control everything and started letting it happen. I prepared where I could and responded when I needed.
If you are thinking about or are living with food limitations (allergies, vegan, veg, paleo) , this is no different. We can choose to be consumed by change or intentionally try to conquer the challenge, offering ourselves and others understanding when missteps happen. I’m guilty of trying to control the environment for my kidos, attempting to make everything perfect. My mind races with what could happen or might happen that I miss-out on the excitement of planning with them. Worse yet, I become so irritable that no one wants to be around me when we actually get there! I condemn myself for not having it all figured out or get in an endless worry loop that I hurt someone’s feelings.
The point is – we live in ever changing and diverse world, with or without food restrictions. Taking a quick compass check, or break, reflecting on what is presently happening as well as our true intentions helps to remind us of what is right and why. Like most of you… truth and purpose drive me forward with determination!