Progress is posing for a silly picture with your girls in front of a sign that used to kick perfection into OVERDRIVE.
My word of the year for 2017 is HONOR...
Which includes honoring all parts of my story – and all of me.
This sign hung at every entrance into my home town – for years after I won gold in Sydney.
Pretty badass. And totally a proud moment for my family and friends – especially for out-of-town-friends, who would stop to take silly selfies in front of a sign that they didn’t know existed.
I was mortified.
Well, that's not the whole truth.
It was the perfectionist in me who was mortified – and reacted in predictable fashion by flooding my body + mind with paralyzing, exhausting fear.
That no one could ever know about.
I felt like a fraud. Totally exposed.
Buried under the weight of what I thought others would expect of me.
What would they think if they really knew me?
What should I look like?
How should I act?
Cue all the shoulds.
And on. And on.
At the same time, the me underneath felt humbled and proud – and so grateful for the outpouring of support and PILES of cards and congratulations. The me underneath felt moments of temporary joy.
The space between my ears turned into a battlefield.
I created this ideal version of me. And chased it. Always falling short because that’s the only place we land when perfection drives. Fall short? Just try harder.
And, I eventually found myself under the rubble of my life battling an eating disorder and depression - along with a shoulder injury that left me out of the water.
Which landed me a seat in the office of a straight-shooting, no bullshit-taking, refreshingly honest and deeply powerful mentor, Greg Harden. Weekly. For two years.
You know what was so amazing about being underneath the weight of it all?
I had the opportunity to leave behind all that no longer served me.
To edit the stories I was telling myself.
To stand up a truer, happier, healthier version of me.
It certainly didn't feel amazing when the debris was so thick I couldn't see the light.
It felt hard. And messy. And exhausting.
Choosing to work through THAT kind of hard opened up the door to freedom, balance and lasting joy.
So, here's my progress picture.
With my girls.
In front of a sign that no longer triggers perfection.
So proud. So humbled. So grateful.
All of me.
If you need help figuring out the HOWS - how to release the grip of perfection, reach out. This is not the kind of work we need to do alone - though perfection will tell you it is.
I am hosting a webinar on Sunday, July 30th at 8:30pm EST - you can head over to www.samanthalivingstone.com/dreambig to reserve a seat. OR, feel free to reach out directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can connect!!
Samantha Livingstone is an Olympic Gold Medalist, transformational speaker, empowerment coach and mama of four. She empowers others to cultivate the courage, compassion and resilience needed to let go of perfection - so they can achieve their own gold medal moments AND live a life that is filled with freedom, balance and lasting joy. A mama of heart warrior and mama of twins, Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls.
You can learn more about Samantha at www.samanthalivingstone.com.