For the past few weeks I've had this mantra for myself. "YOU GOT THIS!" Three little words of encouragement to help me keep going and to keep that self motivation going. I'll admit that the past few weeks haven't been all sunshine and rainbows for me. I was getting a little worn down by the day to day routine of  wake up at 4:30am, drive 40 minutes to get to Oakland, workout, go to work, go home, have dinner with the family, go to sleep, repeat. I know that when I take a quick little audit of my life its due to the fact that my our photography business has been in full speed ahead with its busy wedding season with non stop events till mid November. I know I shouldn't complain about being busy and that I should be extremely grateful for the clientele that continues to fall more and more in love with my husband's work, but we're busy and I only want to complain because I like to shove all of the things onto my plate.

One of the biggest life lessons I've ever come to learn is to not be so hard on yourself. Its lingering challenge that appears in all aspects of life for me: fitness, motherhood, career, friendships, even my relationship to my dog! Over the past few years I've learned to become more aware of my own self development and to try to seek out ways to improve aspects in my life whether they are great or small. After climbing such feats like my fitness journey I thought I had gained the self confidence and #fuckyeslife mentality that I needed to get through my every day challenges. I was wrong and its not to say that I don't have that mentally, but what I'm admitting to is that I don't have that mentality turned on all that time because I know I'm being too hard on myself when I look at my setbacks.

But I've learned there are a few things I need to remind myself:  

No one is perfect. And we need to love and accept ourselves as we are, flaws and all.

As we go through life, challenges arise to help us keep growing. We’re human and we have layers. Just when we think we’ve learned something, life comes along and shows us there’s more.

Here are some tips that have helped me accept and grow with my most recent life lesson.

  1. DONT BEAT YOURSELF UP! Easier said than done, but you have to give yourself the space and time to learn your life lessons at your own pace. This is the same when it comes to your fitness journey. You will have setbacks, you may stumble, and falter just a bit. It's going to be O.K. Setbacks give us the opportunity to be kind to and to nurture ourselves in the process.
  2. DONT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS! It's easy to get caught up in the comparison game and to look at other people's Instagram, blogs, websites, etc. Comparison is the quickest way to feeling unhappy, depressed, and lacking of your own self worth. It is so easy for me to get caught in a rabbit hole of seeing what you lack than what you have when you begin to compare yourself. The moment you sense yourself going down this road, STOP and redirect your energy on the amazing things you do have.
  3. ACCEPT WHAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE. It's easy to blame your circumstances, other people, and events. Sometimes you have to accept what you cannot change and know that this is happening for a reason. I always say "God puts people and experiences in our lives for a certain period of time to teach us a lesson."  It's time to grow! 
  4. REFLECT ON YOUR THOUGHTS AND JOURNEY. I do this often, sometimes I do this during my workouts. Awareness is the first step of acknowledging growth, development, and transformation. Ask yourself how are you responding to these changes and what impact are they making in your life? A lot of my growth and mindset evolution happens when I give myself the time to reflect on my journey. It gives me an opportunity to see what I did really well and where I could've been able to give more. When I say that exercise is my therapy, its the truth in so many ways. 
  5. CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS: BIG AND SMALL! Take the time to celebrate the lessons in life that you are learning. Take a moment to look at the steps you've taken to make great changes. When I first started working out, I didn't see massive changes in my weight, but I did see them my strength or endurance. I realized that celebrating my accomplishments of being able to add more weight onto my exercise or do more pushups or have more stamina for cardio added to my own self motivation. You are awesome! Be thrilled that you were able to accomplish something you may have not been able to do a year ago, a month ago, a week ago, even yesterday. 

Life will always have setbacks. It is what you do in these setbacks that determine how far you'll go. As long as you are learning and growing along the way, there's no reason why you can't enjoy the journey. Babe, you got this!