Have you ever wanted something SO badly and yet, it just kept eluding you?
Like you know you are capable. And you even think, “I’m pretty kickass at this!” The time is there, the energy is there. So why isn’t this working out?!
That’s me. Right now. And for the past few months.
I keep asking myself why and trying to find clear answers in the murky unknown. But they aren’t there. And for me, accepting an unknown is a big hurdle.
About a decade ago, one of my journey way stations was group fitness instruction. I taught a variety of aerobics and strength training classes and even managed a group fitness program for a year. All told, I invested 15 years into this work. At my peak, I was teaching nearly twenty classes a week and loving every minute!
Movement is a keystone habit in my life. I start each day moving my body and it’s an enormous part of my personal identity. This is what makes encouraging and leading others in exercise feel natural and joyful–even though I don’t like being in the spotlight. But this aspect of life is so meaningful for me, that the discomfort of attention is worth it.
This is why as I mapped my new journey several months ago, I knew I wanted fitness instruction as part of the journey. Leaving a traditional corporate job and taking the step to create my own life and leadership coaching practice was an opportunity to carefully and intentionally create the life I wanted. A life of autonomy, flexibility, and greater balance. Is it even a coincidence that flexibility and balance are a part of fitness?!
I knew I could do it. I’d done it before. It is a part of who I am. So I became recertified as a group fitness instructor through a nationally recognized fitness organization. Then, I started contacting local Orangetheory franchises asking about openings.
Why Orangetheory? For the last five years I’ve enjoyed Orangetheory classes as a member and in many ways it felt like a great fit. I exchanged emails, shared phone calls, even performed a mic audition to showcase my teaching style.
I did all of the things I would coach you to do.
I asked for feedback. I took the time to fully digest and understand the information shared. Overall, it was positive with a few ideas for improvement. Yay! I practiced and asked current coaches questions to gain insight and guidance. I did all the right things.
Yet here I am. Still not a coach at Orangetheory.
Maybe another candidate was simply better than me?
Maybe there was something I said or something about my demeanor they didn’t like?
Maybe the timing of the entire thing is just off?
Maybe I’m too old?
Maybe I don’t have the right look?
Maybe I’m just not as good as I think I am at being a group fitness instructor?
I could keep going. You know how that feels, right? You can spiral endlessly with all the reasons why you didn’t make it. Some of them might be accurate. But I know that so many of your reasons and mine are more about ego and protecting ourselves from the hurt that comes with rejection–whether the rejection is justified or not.
Why has this process been so challenging, especially when it’s an area where I feel confident and capable? I’ve been searching for an answer. I like answers and information. Even when it’s not what I want to hear, information can bring clarity to a situation for me. It provides some sense of control. And if there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I like feeling a sense of control of my environment and circumstances–even if it’s a false sense of control, it helps. You might crave this sense of control, too.
I could wonder for the next month about why I haven’t been hired. Why I can’t achieve this goal I set. But I know my energy isn’t well spent on all of the “what if’s.”
If I know I’ve put my best foot forward–which I have– and did my best– which I did–that’s all I can do. It’s no longer in my control. And that’s ok. I can trust myself to live in the murky unknown.
So today, I’m celebrating that I took the risk. Owning and feeling proud that I took a chance at an opportunity I wanted. Putting myself out there was hard! It’s vulnerable. It’s openly asking others to judge me, validate me–and yes–criticize me.
Even writing this and choosing to share it publicly sucks! I feel pretty naked right now sharing this with so many of you. I didn’t get what I wanted. That’s hard.
I could easily look at this experience as a failure. I didn’t get the job that I wanted. Plain and simple.
But I did try. I did go after what I wanted and gave it my best shot. And isn’t that really all we can ever truly ask of ourselves?
Journey well, my friends.