An intuitive approach to fitness can sometimes appear to be a double-edged sword. Sometimes listening to your heart can feel like an excuse to quit. The question eventually becomes this: “If I stop doing an activity, am I honoring what I know isn’t working for me, or am I just not disciplined enough or too lazy to complete the task at hand?” I have dealt with this question time and time again as a coach, athlete, and human being. In situations where the answer is never clear-cut and your commitment and self-esteem is at stake, it’s natural to get lost in analysis paralysis.
During my time as a fitness competitor, I felt trapped in a saturated industry that I myself strategically chose to be in. My choices were the source of my own unhappiness. Nevertheless, I justified my misery with the awards, glory, and bountiful business opportunities competing brought me. I found myself envious of women outside the industry. I remember my thoughts were always overly critical and self-depreciating. “Something must be wrong with me,” I’d say, or “I don’t have what it takes,” or “This is why I will never win, because I don’t want it enough.”
When making the daunting decision on whether to push through or walk away from an activity, our brains automatically go to a place a fear. We fear stepping out into the unknown. We fear believing that our hearts are telling us the truth. We fear that we will just be average. We fear that we will regret.
It is true that sometimes we give up to soon. Sometimes we do not grab the world by the you-know-what’s and ‘chicken out’ by quitting. We tend to make excuses for our perceived failures. We scare easily and run. All this is undeniably true and part of being human.
So, that being said, how do you know when you should quit? When should you let go? What should the conversation with ourselves look like when we find ourselves at this complicated juncture?
Begin by simplifying the process and pull out your journal.
I invite you to consider these four things, I am confident that this self examination will give you clarity with where your heart truly lies so you can confidently choose the path meant for you.
1) Is this making me unconditionally happy? Truly… and will it in the long run?
2) In this moment, am I the best version of myself? Does this activity bring out the best in me?
3) If I look at the goals for my life in the next 5 years, will this choice bring me closer or farther away from that vision?
4) Talk to the three people that know you the best, whose opinions you hold higher then anyone else. How are they viewing your journey during this activity?