on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘confidence’

Nobody Tells This to Beginners (and Other Developments)

Ira Glass Quote

Ira Glass said this at some point and since I’m writing about writing a lot lately, it’s too relevant not to be shared.

Random fact: Did you know that I met and worked with Ira Glass during year two of Wordstock? Yep, I’m just that good.

In other bits of trivia – Scott Berkun wrote a response to my blog post from last week, 500 Words or Less, which was actually inspired by him. (Is your head spinning yet?) And in this post, he explains the difference between an essay and a blog…sort of.

You should read it.

New development: Did you know that is on Facebook?  You should like me over there, because we all know that you can’t get enough lamiki in your life.

Come on, toss a girl a like.

Oh, and I have big news to share tomorrow. Really, really BIG news.

But you’ll have to wait. ☺

For now, rock the rest of your Thursday.

I Have a Confession to Make

Born to be wild, Vauxhall tubb

I am starting my own business.

That’s right, a business and I have no idea what it will be yet. I’ve mentioned this to a few people, how I want to start a business but I haven’t had that idea that strikes like a bolt of lightning and makes me say, “holy shit, this is it!”

Actually, that has happened, but I’m still ruminating on it.

There are two things I’m obsessed with: 1) building things, and 2) movements.

The first I know quite a bit about from positions I’ve had over the years. And the second is a relatively new passion that was born out of the love I have of being the voice that connects brands with their customers and from watching organizations like the Girl Effect and Movember harness their communities and ignite a wave of action.

It’s pretty incredible.

So while I research and learn what exactly those two things mean – What do I enjoy most about building things? And what exactly is it about movements that totally draw me in? – and how they’ll work with each other, today, I’m officially coming out as an entrepreneur in training.

I don’t know when I’ll land and settle with an idea that I will want to build, execute, ship, and implement, but it will happen. It’s going to happen. And it will probably happen way sooner than any of us think it will.

And I’m bringing this blog (and you!) with me along the way.

Photo credit: tubb

When is it okay to quit?

quitter by jen collins (hellojenuine)

Two years ago in June, I walked into a CrossFit gym and started a workout with barely enough strength to lift the bar. This was embarrassing. I was not a newbie at all, but a nine-month veteran just home from three weeks away from the gym due to business travel. I was very familiar with the fact that I would not be as strong as when I left, but I wasn’t lifting any weight at all, I was just trying to lift the goddamn 35-pound bar.

Something was wrong. Something in my life beyond the gym was affecting my workout. And something needed to change.

That time I quit CrossFit

That summer my life was a mess – I was working for a manager who said I needed to do some “soul searching” to see if the job that I was doing was what I wanted to do, my husband and I were buying our first house, and I was discovering what it meant to be an “adult.”

They say that one of the main reasons why people work out is to relieve stress. But CrossFit is different; it requires concentration of your mind, body, and soul to push your body to do things that you never imagined it could. And as a friend put it, at CrossFit, you are very vulnerable. And those three things consumed all of my thoughts to the point that I could not put them aside so I could use my brain to focus on the work out at hand.

It was scary. And if you aren’t on solid ground mentally, emotionally, or physically, it makes it even worse.

And it can turn something you love into something that isn’t worth it anymore.

So I quit. I decided that I needed time away from this thing that I was growing to love. This activity that was the first and only form of working out that I ever “got.” This hobby that showed me I have damn good form and kick ass at lifting. This sport that was causing more stress that it was relieving.

The difference between quitting and failure

It’s okay to say enough is enough and put a stop to what’s not working. For me, quitting CrossFit allowed me to take one responsibility off the table so I could spend my energy on working through some really big milestones in my life. It allowed me to preserve the sanctity of CrossFit so that it would still be fresh when, or if, I decided to return.

The idea of quitting is romantic. It’s an action that many of us would like to do, but rarely act upon. And I’m not talking give-the-man-the-finger type of quitting; I’m talking about the “it’s not good for me anymore” type of quitting. The kind that slips out of your mouth over wine with a friend when you tell her about the job that you’re not into anymore or the man you’re seeing who doesn’t fulfill your life the way he used to; the kind that she’ll encourage you to get over and promise that that feeling will come back and that you’ll come out stronger than when you started.

Or, if she’s a good friend, she will tell you to listen to that feeling and just fucking do it.

I like how John Falchetto says it, quitting is a choice:

I chose to quit when there is no progress. When no matter the effort I am exerting, in whichever direction I am pushing no progress is made whatsoever. Sometimes it is easier to walk around the wall than try to push through it.

Quitting is not the same thing as failure. Failure is the act of something not working in the way that you intended it to work. Failure is an outcome, quitting is a choice. Failure is something that happens to you (or something you direct), quitting is you putting a screeching halt to something. And sometimes to prevent being run over by the train, you have to change the tracks and put up the stop sign.

And it’s okay.

Whether it’s a hobby, how you workout, your job, your lover, and even your best friend – quitting, when you know why you’re doing it, is okay.

Learning from the past

Technically this isn’t a story about quitting; it’s a story about hitting pause. Four months after I quit CrossFit, I found my way back. I resolved two of the three issues that got in my way during the summer and found a new gym. This new gym invited me to join their community and I fell back in love with CrossFit.

It wasn’t the same kind of love. This time, I know that I will have an “off” night and that things will happen at work and at home that will affect how I perform at the gym. There are nights when I will fight back tears because emotionally, I can’t find the strength to start or even finish a work out, but I will find the strength to show up. And that’s okay.

This time, the relationship is different because I am approaching it differently.

What have you quit? What did it teach you?

Photo credit: Jen Collins (hellojenuine)

One Sentence for Today

This post is part of the #Trust30 Challenge, a 30-day writing initiate inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. To find out more about this challenge, read why I am participating or details about the pledge.

a tribute to all who helped make this day wonderful! by nathij

Prompt: Liz Danzico – Today

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

(Author: Liz Danzico)

I wrote two:

  1. Some days you are the ass kicker and sometimes it’s your ass that needs to be kicked.
  2. Actions speak louder than words.

Photo credit: Ismail Nathij Ahmed

#snOMG: Overcoming My Fear of the Seattle Snowpocalypse

It’s snowing right now in Seattle. And it’s kind of a big deal. You see, all we need are a few inches and it shuts down the city. Call us whatever you’d like, but we just don’t have the infrastructure to deal with clearing roads and keeping all those hills clear. Plus, in most cases it only snows for a few hours, accumulates just over an inch, then warms out and turns to rain. And all of our fears are gone, but at least we got some time off of school and work.

We’ve received bad press about this, which I understand. There are a lot of good things that we’re good at here in the Pacific Northwest, but we dealing with snow like you crazy kids in Boulder and Chicago can. It’s just not a weakness we want to improve on.

It’s such a big deal that we embrace the hashtag, #snOMG, because that’s pretty appropriate with how Seattleites are feeling right now (whether they care to admit it or not).

Myself included. Yes, I am an active member of #snOMG.

Staring #snOMG in the face

Tonight, after barely making it home from the gym, John decided it’d be the opportune time to teach me how to drive in the snow. Uh huh.

As we crawl up our street, I’m on pins and needles, with my heart racing, hyperventilating, the works. I’m already in a fragile place: at the gym, I had a long talk with my coach about how much my arm is hurting from when I injured it during a workout over the summer. The hurt has evolved and is affecting my life outside of the gym. I can’t eat with chopsticks throughout an entire meal, it’s that bad.

So picture fragile Laura in the passenger seat of her brother-in-law’s almost-collector-status, rear-wheel drive, 1983 Mazda RX-7 with her husband at the wheel explaining the benefit of learning how to drive in the snow—something she’s afraid of and is not in the mental state to face right now at all.

We crawled up the street and a few blocks over to an abandoned parking lot. I regulated my breathing. The lot was without cars, speed bumps, and very few streetlights. John drove first, demonstrating and talking me through how to use the gas to regulate the direction that you’re going and how if you slide, point the wheel in the direction you want to go. Things specific to a rear-wheel drive car.

John drove, sliding in circles, and giving me the play-by-play for everything that he was doing and how to recreate it. Then we switched.

Taking the driver’s seat

With me in the driver seat, John’s instructions were to just drive and have fun and if he gives me any instructions to do them. Immediately.

I drove. I spun. I made a hard left, then a hard right. The back kicked out, I counter steered. I went in circles when I wanted to and I went straight when I wanted to, too. It was just like racing in an autocross—except there was snow under my tires and everything moved slightly slower. And I giggled. A lot.

I’ve raced a lot of cars in my life as an autocrosser, but the majority of them have been lightweight, rear wheel beasts. I know what it feels like to drift a corner and how to correct oversteer. Driving a car is intuitive—especially an older one that has a cable-throttle, giving my foot a direct connection to the gas without a computer getting in the way. The only difference here is less traction due to snow.

Learning: I can handle this

When you have a fear, even if it’s one that leaves you kicking and screaming to avoid, find someone to help pull you out of that place, show you it’s not as scary as it seems, and teach you how to overcome it. They key with snow—and what I’ve been lacking all along—is confidence that I can drive in it. Tonight I got my first dose of it and I’ll start building it from here. Baby steps, my friend.

Now, assuming that the rain doesn’t come and melt it all away overnight, I will not go cruising around like a teenager green from the DMV. I plan to fully embrace my #snOMG-ness and freak out by staying at home. I overcame my fear of driving in the snow, but that doesn’t mean I’m “cured” of all nervousness about it.

I’ll keep working on that one. I can handle driving in the snow; it’s everyone else on the road that I don’t know about.

Thank you, John, for being patient with me.

What’s one fear you’ve overcome lately and did someone help you through it?

Photo Credit: thisisbossi