Motivation – internal vs external.

I’ve never been a fat girl.

Helluva way to start a blog post, right? But it’s the truth. I’ve never been a fat girl. I was heavy back in 2001, but not fat. Chunky, overweight, but you wouldn’t point at me and say “There goes a fat girl.” In grade school and high school I was a bean pole. My loving grandmother pointed that out on numerous occasions. My lack of curves is and has been a running joke in my family for years. One of the girls I went to high school with called me ‘toothpick legs’. So no, I’ve never been a fat girl.

I’ve always been a damn good athlete. In a bigger school with more athletic opportunity (I’m five freaking three, basketball AIN’T my strong suit.) and more motivation on my part, I could have gone with scholarships. Athleticism has never been a struggle for me. Softball, track, basketball. Easy. I just didn’t care to push myself anywhere except softball. So, I’ve never had to work to be an athlete. It always just happened.

Sounds like bragging, right? It isn’t…not really at least. Things taken for granted? Yes, definitely, but not gloating.

So external motivators leave me cold. Those aren’t struggles I face and they’re not issues I deal with.

Internally? Oh. Those.

Well, right around two years ago, my second marriage started unraveling. No great surprise, in hindsight, but at the time I was pretty boggled. Somewhere around that time, the point was made clear to me that nothing I did would ever be good enough.

Good enough for what? I guess, anything. Not entirely sure.
But the point was made, in no uncertain terms, and driven home, repeatedly. This was debilitating and devastating to me because I’ve always been better than good enough, hell in most cases, I’m damned excellent. The idea that I can’t possibly be good enough was foreign to me, but it was delivered with such certainty and from someone I (at the time) respected, then obviously it had to be true, right?
I certainly took the conversation to heart, and for quite some time deliberated on what I needed to do to make those words every bit of NOT TRUE. My confidence was shaken, and my belief in myself and my own ability to be better was called into question. Truthfully, it took until my mid twenties to overcome the bullying my brothers and I endured during our school years, and here it was my late twenties and those familiar words were reappearing. I chose not to wallow in self pity, and I chose to leave the situation and move on with my life. Those words don’t haunt me the way they used to…they used to bring me to my knees and make me curl up and cry and not want to speak to anyone for days on end.

Not anymore.
Now they make me realize that a) I need to be more careful and observant about the people I invite into my intimate circle and b) just because someone else says it, that doesn’t mean it’s true…but if I don’t WANT it to be true, I have to make damn sure I work to prevent giving those words any credence.

My internal motivation?
To never give a moment’s truth to those detractors. My level of self awareness has increased dramatically in the past five years, along with my level of self-honesty. I’m my own harshest critic, to be sure. As a result, I work to drive myself to be and do better every time. Sometimes ‘better’ means I get an extra hour of sleep even when I could be doing laundry or programming. Other times, ‘better’ means that an athlete struggling on the last leg of a run finds a partner showing up beside him, pushing him onward, bringing him home to finish the WOD. Sometimes ‘better’ means admitting mistakes and flaws and asking forgiveness. Sometimes it means asking for help. Whatever it means at that particular moment, I want better. Every time. Good enough isn’t good enough. I want better. Every time.

So, what brings you here?

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4 Responses to “Motivation – internal vs external.”

  1. Becky Says:

    Sounds way too familiar.

  2. Scrim Says:

    you sound like a total douche bag, just saying..

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