Have you ever felt like you've hit a brick wall?
You muster up all your strength and energy to break through that barrier, but in the process you’re getting scraped and bruised and not really getting closer to what you want?
You might have heard advice like, “quitters never win”, or “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, or other ideas about perseverance, completing everything you start, or working harder to get what you want.
Those are necessary qualities for some situations, but when your body is sending you clear signals that this is not the path for you, there's another way:
You can walk around the wall.
With ease and comfort.
In the direction of something that feels like the perfect fit.
Exactly a year ago, I hit a rough brick wall.
I was a week into my new back-to-school plan (I had already started and stopped grad school on three separate occasions).
This time with an online chemistry class to knock off some prerequisites before I applied to a chiropractic program.
(There are some subjects that should never become online classes. Chemistry is one of them.)
Each time I cracked open my new $374 chemistry book I cried.
Sorrowful soul-wrenching wails that made me feel like I was going to vomit.
I soaked the entire 1st chapter with my never-ending tears.
- I had a head cold.
- My boyfriend had been ignoring my calls for days.
- Unexpectedly a family member was in urgent care.
- And my schedule was so jam-packed I wasn't able to exercise or eat well OR sleep.
I felt like I had hit a brick wall and had absolutely no energy left to break through it. My body was protesting and my health was waaay out of alignment. Instead of going forward, I slid all the way down that wall until I was a mangled heap on the floor.
I couldn’t disregard my visceral reaction. My body forced me to do the one thing I didn’t want to do:
I stopped going in that direction.
I quit chemistry class.
My boyfriend and I broke up.
I made time to visit the hospital.
I stayed home at night to make sure I got 8 hours of sleep.
Redirecting can be just as transformational as persevering. When you quit one thing that’s not working for you, you will see 100 other things that will work for you.
When I hit this brick wall and went through these steps outlined below to align my intuition-body-mind, I ended up studying in an anatomy and business program that felt like a perfect fit for me and was gaining information that was directly applicable to my career.
I developed a supportive community of women through my Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs events.
I felt better in my body than ever before and I had a renewed sense of confidence and pride in the ways that I was learning and growing.
And most importantly, this path felt natural and energizing.
When you find yourself hitting a brick wall, use these 4 steps to walk around it.
Press pause on your current situation before you hit your head against that brick wall one more time!
Stop and sit quietly for a moment. Everything will still be there when you’re ready to come back to it.
2. LISTEN to your “script”
What are the words you’re using to describe this situation to yourself? Listen and hear the true message of your thoughts.
I kept hearing myself say, “I don’t really want to be a chiropractor, I just want that knowledge.” If I didn’t really want to be a chiropractor then why was I planning on investing many years and thousands of dollars into that profession?
I realized I really appreciated studying at The Breathing Project in NYC and decided to commit to studying there more intensely.
3. FEEL sensations
What are you feeling in your body? Does your stomach contract when you think about your situation? Are you getting migraines or head colds or crying yourself to sleep?
*(alternately, if you feel excitement in your chest or warming in your heart when you think about pushing forward into the wall, it might be a sign to stick with it!)
Instead of going through it, go around it!
It’s OKAY to go in a different direction. Even if you’ve spent a lot of money on this path, even if you told your friends and family and co-workers that you were doing this, even if YOU thought it was going to be the end-all answer, even if you think you have to suffer to grow.
I guarantee you are not a failure or lazy or a loser if you choose to go in a different direction. In fact, I think you are practicing awareness, self-discovery, compassion, and balance to be the BEST, most productive, happiest version of yourself. You are creating a body and a life that you LOVE according to what you FEEL as opposed to what you THINK you should be doing.
I say, redirect and more power to you!
What about you?
Have you ever been in a situation like this?
What do you do when you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall?
I'm curious to know how you deal with this. Tell me in the comments below!
With love and walking around brick walls,
PS - If you feel like you've hit a wall in your fitness life, I can help redirect you on a path to health & wellness! Contact me about my new coaching and online programs!
HI, I'M ELYSE!
I'm a personal trainer, fitness coach, and yoga teacher who gets people moving with in-person training and my signature online 21 day workout program. I want to help people drop the guilt/shame game around exercise and start working out with ease and kindness. When I'm not doing squats and sun salutations, I'm dressed up in vintage lindy hop dancing or gathering other Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs to talk about their careers and living their most passionate lives. Start moving with me today with these FREE stretch breaks you can do to feel more energized and aligned during your day! - stretchbreak.elysesparkes.com
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