If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to keep up with the madness that is the world right now. And if you’re on the same wavelength as me, you have already binged watched all 2 seasons of Ted Lasso. The show hits you right in the feels and does not disappoint. If you haven’t watched it yet, this is your golden opportunity to start NOW (that’s an order, not an invitation).
I have been on the planet 35 years. I am currently in the BEST place I’ve ever been in. Truly. However, this year I started out in the WORST place I’ve ever been in. And no, I’m not kidding. I was “life-ing” HARD this year.
I needed some serious pick me up, and my brother recommended Ted Lasso. “Best show on tv right now,” he tells me. OK, so I caved.
Ted Lasso got me thinking a lot about life. I played sports all growing up, mostly basketball and volleyball. I played soccer for a hot minute at 8 years old and it wasn’t my jam. But all sports provide the same opportunity for a metaphor of life; There are highs, there are lows, there are wins, there are loses.
For most of 2020, it felt like I was winning… like up by 30 points kind of winning. I was feeling compassion for the other humans who seemed to be having it rough. I mean, I wasn’t just winning, I was slaying. I had the winning team, and the game was going exactly as I would want.
My life, my game, was exactly where I wanted it to be. Until it took a completely unexpected turn…
Many of us have experienced a total breakdown. You know, the thing that spins our life around, turning it upside down, in literally a second. One minute you’re skipping along and smiling, and the next thing you know you’re down on the field with the wind knocked out of you, grass in your teeth, with the ball turned over, without even knowing what hit you.
This is me 13 minutes before my total game breakdown. Here I am just peachy doing an Instagram live for my business back in 2020. Little did I know that in 13 minutes from this screenshot, my life as I knew it, the game as it was going, would be done.
Thirteen minutes later, my neighbor texted me and told me that she saw my boyfriend on Tinder. You know, the life partner with the mountain cabin we just got. I received the screenshot of his profile. I screamed. Then came the call with him that showed me he wasn’t committed to reconciling the situation. I yelled. My teammate just left me alone in the field mid-game. Then came the realization that this relationship was over and there was no reconciling as he wasn’t open to it. I sobbed. Then came the realization I wouldn’t have the cabin in the woods with him either. I lost home field. I couldn’t move my body. Coach, take me out. I can’t. Timeout on the field. Timeout on life.
I lost. And I lost what felt like the things that mattered to me the most.
I got up. I started to walk into 2021 up to my eyeballs in grief with a new life I couldn’t recognize from weeks prior. It was completely disorienting. While this was all happening, my business was changing in ways I couldn’t have seen coming. I thought I had it all figured out, and then BOOM! Another turnover. Then it brought up issues with other people in my life who were proving to not be the best teammates, either. My team was dwindling. Nothing was working the way I thought it should. Life got heavy. I was in the field, getting what felt like obliterated, just trying to muster the energy to simply move an appendage at this point. This was NOT ideal for someone who is a single woman and CEO who completely financially supports herself. I was down and out. Again, timeout please!
I mentioned in the beginning of this post that I am now doing the best I’ve ever done in my life… ever. And yes I am not bullshitting you. So how did I go from the worst place I had ever been in my life to the best in a matter of 12 months?
Answer: I believed like Ted Lasso.
Every morning I got up and CHOSE to believe I was going to be the best I had ever been once I worked through the shit. Did I have any proof of this? Oh no, no I did not. Between the bags of circles under my eyes, laundry that hadn’t been done in 2 weeks, depression and apathy that hit me to my core from being in deep grief, wearing the same yoga pants for 3 days straight, and the occasional phenomenon of shaving the right side of my body but not the left, all I had was belief. Every morning, I taped a locker room sized “believe” poster inside my head and heart. And I persevered.
I got cheerleaders.
Every time I talked with a girlfriend (my Rebecca’s and Keeley’s) and I would say, “I know I am going to come out of this better than ever.” They cheered me on. I CLAIMED this was going to be my reality. They believed me and believed IN ME in the same way I did. I surrounded myself with my cheerleaders, got back on the field, and moved forward one baby step at a time. I didn’t stop showing up on the field that is life.
I stopped caring about winning or looking good like Ted Lasso.
As an entrepreneur and CEO, it feels great to have hit all of your goals and totally slay in your business. And sometimes you just need to be in your shit and get through it to EVENTUALLY do that again, and do it better than ever. Sometimes the way to exactly what you want is letting things as you thought you wanted them fall apart. I thought I knew what I wanted, but life showed me otherwise. When this happenes, you have to allow yourself to ACTUALLY go through the breakdown and let it be your trainer. Don’t bypass it and fake it. The breakdown trains us for glory. I’m not saying go find yourself a mess, but if it comes your way, let it be your trainer to be the best version of yourself and your life. Make it work with you, not against you. That’s where so many of us trip up, and where I’ve tripped up before. If you bypass it, you end up like Jamie: looking good without feeling good. Trust the process, and move through it and with it.
I learned that true winning is saying “yes” to myself, not staying on top of a performance (although that’s cool, too).
At the end of the day, even though I felt awful processing what seemed like 10,000 lbs of grief, I smiled. I smiled because I said “yes” to myself and my heart, and said “no” to what couldn’t meet me there. I said “yes” to me, my dreams, my joy, It was the first time in my life I allowed things to be as terrible as they were, while still making strides for betterment. Little “yes’s” to myself consisted of healers to help me on my grief journey, meditation, hiking, books, road trips. I saw my girlfriends often. I slept. And slept. I took a 6 month sabbatical from work because I could, and needed it. You know, sometimes we really need a heavy duty timeout. So I gave myself permission and took mine.
And even though I was down, the upside was that I was unapologetically winning at MY life. There was no external validation. No shiny trophies. Winning was a feeling and a knowing within me versus a result. I was showing up for me 100% out on the field, and that was everything. I believed in me, that my health mattered, that my grief mattered, that I was just as important as a slump on the couch not making a dime as I was slaying and making six-figures. I learned for myself.. that’s winning.
Believe it, and they will come.
I believed everyday that my life was heading to its best, and slowly but surely my life results started to shift to match my internal feelings of winning. I believed this whole loss was happening for me, not to me. Because I believed that, the little miracles started showing themselves. The game started turning. Things started happening FOR me. I started being in the right places to meet the right people. I was being guided in the more joyful direction of my business. I ended up meeting a business partner out of nowhere and starting a second business. I ended up moving through the grief and into the freedom of a happy heart. Even though I am still single, I now have a team again, and the winning team will only grow from here. And I found home field again with a house in the mountains and a place in the city that are mine.
For the love of the game (in all of it’s quarters/innings/halves), for the love of life (in all of it’s chapters).
The game, our life, is so much richer when we learn to love it because it’s ours, not because it looks a certain way, or because things are going well all of the time. I remember the contrast of how fun sports were when I was young, and how they became a chore to perform late in high school. I didn’t like that. And I didn’t like the realizations of the little ways I started to do that to my own life. But I got trained. I get to have fun, joy, laughter, love, play, abdunance, in all of the chapters, even the darker ones. So throw a Ted Lasso sized belief poster into your soul, and start believing that your life, no matter what, is amazing, and allow saying “yes” to yourself be your win.
PS- Want to be part of my team of positive, high vibe people? Join my community of Igniters if you haven’t already (and yes, it’s free). Click here to join the community.