Obstacles, either concrete or perceived, are a part of every journey—but they don’t have to be seen as barriers. We can instead view them as stepping-stones, placing ourselves on a path to achieving our goals. Our decisions must be driven by our passions and hopes, not by our fears. Bold decisions with uncertain outcomes are necessary to step outside of where we are comfortable and into the magic space where confidence and progress bloom.
I’m sharing five obstacles I’ve overcome in the hopes that my stories inspire you to conquer your setbacks, too:
Every strong, powerful and accomplished woman I know deals with feelings of self-doubt from time to time. It’s normal, but too much self-criticism can interfere with your confidence, and hold you back from taking necessary risks that help you grow. I overcame self-doubt to pursue fitness training, which has helped me make a positive impact on the lives of those in my community. This would have never been possible if I’d stayed safe, played small in a career I wasn’t truly passionate about. Next time the voice in your head tells you “no,” remember that seeking fulfillment isn’t selfish. In fact, it’s selfish not to, because when you aren’t sharing your best self, those around you are missing out, too. Someone out there needs your unique offering to the world!
2. The Haters
So many women are still dealing with social stigma and criticism for training hard and developing muscles. It’s important for us to stand comfortably in our own choices and be examples of empowerment, no matter what the specific goals are. Now is most certainly the time to continue to expand the notion of what is acceptable for women and let no obstacle stand in our way. The bottom line is YOU are the one who gets to decide the direction of your life.
I first learned about CrossFit from my sister. I was interested right away, but I almost let excuses get in the way of pursing my passion. The nearest CrossFit gym was across town (and loads of traffic) away from my house. It was hard to justify fitting these classes into my budget. And I was tapped for time as a mother running a household alone. But I knew this was something I needed to see through, no matter how challenging, and I’m so grateful I listened to my intuition.
Sometimes we cheat ourselves out of personal growth by giving into short-term circumstances, like starting your period. As a young gymnast, I could have grabbed a heating pad and said no to training when it was that time of the month. But I chose to find the right products that worked for me, and continued to work toward my goals despite my period. If you want to train, don’t let lack of proper protection be an obstacle to participating in all your favorite activities. These days I rely on U by Kotex® FITNESS* products to give me the protection I need to continue training no matter what time of the month it is. Its comfortable line of pads, tampons and liners move with my body so I stay comfortable while I train. If you’re interested in trying them for yourself, click here for a coupon.
Competition can happen anywhere, whether at the gym or on Instagram. In this era of social media it can be so easy to get caught up in external validation, ‘likes’ and ‘follows,’ or adopting someone else’s definition of success. Even as a competitive CrossFit athlete, where I actually am directly competing against other women in my sport, I find the experience vastly more rewarding when I stay connected to my own intrinsic motivation. My “WHY?” At the end of the day, whether it comes to athletic or professional goals, how I present myself to the world, aspirations for my family, or any other choice, it’s not about pleasing others. It’s about building the life I desire on my own terms.
5. The Clock
As a mother, provider and an athlete, carving out time for all of my passions and responsibilities is one of the biggest obstacles I face. There are a couple of tools and principles that I use to manage my time and keep thriving. I maintain clarity about my values. This awareness guides me in decision making about where to invest my resources, like time, finances and energy. I’ve discovered that I’m a minimalist in many areas of my life, including training. A minimalist approach, only engaging in what truly adds value to your life, frees up more of those precious resources! I make the most of my time by practicing mindfulness, a state of non-judgmental awareness, which helps me be fully present in each moment. Returning to these strategies helps me maintain a sense of balance despite the constant shifts that life brings.
Obstacles will always be a part of the journey. But the good news is you don’t have to let them hold you back from tackling your goals. If you liked these motivational stories, be sure to check out my posts on the @UbyKotex Instagram page!
This post was sponsored by U by Kotex® FITNESS*. All opinions are my own.