Self-Compassion And Meeting Yourself Where You Are

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Self-Compassion Meeting Yourself

Let’s talk about self-compassion and meeting yourself where you are. Right here, right now.  Today.
Have you ever started something, or picked something back up after a hiatus and been frustrated with where you are?

Me too.

Last spring, I was training for a half marathon that was supposed to happen in May, but for obvious reasons (i.e. COVID), that half-marathon didn’t happen.  I swore I’d keep up with my training and run it on my own, but then I hurt my hamstring.

So, my running consistency went out the window.

I used to be an avid triathlete, and I’ve done 4 or 5 half-Ironman races. My fastest time over the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, and 13.1-mile run was 5 hours, 28 minutes and some-odd seconds, which is pretty good for an age-grouper.  I typically finished in the top 15 in my age group on the bike leg, which was my strongest sport of the three, and in the top 25-30 overall.

But, as it has a tendency to do, life happened. I went through a tough time with my divorce.  I no longer had time or energy to put into that much training.  I’m kicking myself because I had built that fitness and endurance up over a few years, and now I’m pretty much back to square one.

To be honest, I’ve had the itch to get back to the tri world.  I still feel like I’d like to do a full Ironman someday. When I was in the thick of racing, people would say “oh, I could never do that”.  And I’d say “of course you can.  You just have to want to”.  

People would look at me and say back, “no, I really could never do that.  I’m too _____”.  I’m too out of shape.  I’m too heavy.  I’m too old.  I’m too busy. 

All the excuses. 

Related: 12 Tips To Self-Love And Compassion

Why is that?  Why do people not believe in themselves? Why do they make excuses for why they can’t do something?

The excuses are fear.

Do you know the other thing that happens?

People bite off more than they can chew.

On a whim, they decide they’re going to do X, but they expect to just do X and not work for it.  When they can’t just do X, they feel like they suck.  They feel inadequate and unworthy – like they are not enough.

So I did a crazy thing this week.

After a couple of glasses of wine, I decided it would be a good idea to sign up for the virtual Baltimore half-marathon, which “takes place” on (or before) October 17th.  

Related: 21 Things That Change When You Start Respecting Yourself

I’m also a personal trainer, and love coming up with new training programs, so I sat down to create a training schedule for this race. October seemed so far away, and it didn’t occur to me until this moment that I only have about a month to get ready for this race.

Oops.

And lately, running has felt like so much effort.  I am about 15 pounds heavier than I’d like to be.  Even though I’m strong and athletic, I’m out of shape for running endurance-wise.  And I’m not getting any younger. When I run, I seriously feel like I am running with bricks on my feet.

So my inner mean girl starts saying all this stuff to me…. You suck at this. You shouldn’t even try.  This is ridiculous.  You should have never stopped running.  You’ll never get back into shape.  You’re so SLOW.

I know you’re familiar with the inner mean girl.  I know you are.

She’s not very nice.

Well, I have some of my best thoughts and ideas when I am running. Here’s one for my inner mean girl:

What if, instead of beating myself up for sucking at this, what if I practiced a little self-compassion and just met myself where I’m at now?  

What if I said hey, everyone has to start somewhere and this is what I have to work with?

So I did.  I settled into my slow pace and took care of my body and my mind. 

I also took comfort in the fact that this is the beginning of a journey.  A journey from slow to fast (or maybe slow to not-as-slow).  A journey of getting back in running shape.  A journey from having little endurance to having as much endurance as I train myself to have.

Feels a lot better to think that way.  It’s so much kinder.

Related: 8 Ways To Cultivate Resilience In Yourself During Tough Times

I am excited to run again.  Because I am doing it without the pressure of a certain pace or time.  I’m leaving my inner mean girl at home and I’m doing this on my own.  No nasty voices and no put-downs. I’m doing it because I want to, with zero expectation, and that feels good.

Oftentimes, I have clients that need some help taking a step back to meet themselves where they are.

I have to teach them that embracing a “beginner’s mind” is one of the best things you can do for yourself from a mindset perspective.  You don’t have to be perfect at something.  You don’t have to be an expert at something right away.  Once you have learned everything, there isn’t any more to the journey.  Having a beginner’s mind is exciting.  There is so much more journey to take.

The journey is where we learn.  It’s where we have some beautiful experiences.

Related: 10 Ways You Can Create A Better Life in 2020

Along the journey, I’ll kindly tell my inner mean girl to have a seat and I’ll show a little self-compassion. I’ll enjoy my morning run by meeting myself where I’m at.

Those are the makings for a beautiful experience on a morning run. 

I encourage you to do the same wherever you’re at.  Kindly tell your inner mean girl to have a seat, show some self-compassion for yourself, and enjoy YOUR beautiful experience on today’s leg of your journey. 

Are you ready for self-compassion and meeting yourself?

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Written by: Kortney Rivard
Originally appeared on: Kortneyrivard.com

Check out her podcast, Real, Brave & Unstoppable.

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