Feb. 11, 2021

Giving Yourself Care When Life gets Hard and You Feel Stuck

“There are no special people. There are special minds. And the mind becomes developed over a period of time.” That insight comes from David Goggins in his discussion with James Altucher on the “James Altucher Show.” Keep listening for more mind blowing wisdom from these two men on why you don’t want to die with greatness still in you, what reflecting on the past can do to remind you of the badass you truly are and how getting outside your comfort zone every single day makes you a better, more resilient human.

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Is it weird that I feature a lot of guys on a podcast for women over 40? Especially someone like David Goggons, ex navy seal and all around man’s man. Yeah, I’ve asked myself this question a time or two and after many hours of soul searching and thoughtful contemplation I’ve finally come to the conclusion that duh, they’re hot! And us single girl’s gotta get our kicks somewhere. 

The other less relevant answer in my opinion is that I had two dominant masculine forces as role models growing up and into adulthood. My dad and my ex husband. Which means I have a healthy, maybe not so healthy, appreciation for the strong, confident type. And that carries over to the women on the show. The Accidental Icon, Hillary Swank, Jane Fonda, Chalene johnson, all ass kickers in their own right. But it’s also one of the reasons why, for now, it’s safer for me to admire from afar. I talk a good game but I still have some, what Goggins would call, mental hardening to do before getting in a relationship that has the potential to jeopardize the autonomy and independence I’ve worked so hard for.

Maybe it seems strange to connect independence with a relationship but from personal experience, there’s nothing more soul crushing than feeling like someone else holds the reins of your life. And I don’t ever want to lose myself to another human being again. We all want a sense of control or agency over our life while still enjoying the benefits of connection and intimacy that we have as a couple. But I need to feel that I can express myself honestly and openly without fear, judgement or ridicule from my partner. So, yeah, that can’t ever be allowed to happen again. And it’s my duty, no, my responsibility to myself to make sure it doesn’t. 

A quick PSA (public service announcement) Please folks, allow my tail of woe to prevent that same movie from coming to a theatre near you. AKA, don’t make the same mistake I did. 

So in case you’re unfamiliar with David, let me introduce you. The man absolutely oozes self discipline and mental toughness. Every time I hear him speak or read his book, which I’ve read two or three times now, he gets no less inspiring and motivating than the last. And that inspiration and motivation feels great... in the moment. It can be the driving force that gets me to  take action, especially in the beginning, when just starting can be the hardest part of the journey. But, unfortunately, it lasts just that, a moment. And for him, that ended when he was running the Hurt 100 and body fluids were also running out of every orifice with 30 miles left to go. What happens when all motivation is gone? Well, In his case, he had to dig deep and put one foot in front of the other to finish the race. 

For those of us who’ve had kids and understand that urgent need to cross our legs whenever we laugh, sneeze or cough, well, we probably shouldn’t be doing any running or jumping anyway. I mean, why does no one tell you about these things? Why is everything such a friggin secret? I knew what shrinkage was before leakage thanks to Elaine in Seinfeld. And no, it’s nothing to do with laundry. So, we got that to look forward to, which is nice.  

At least little kids don’t worry about it. I remember being at my daughter’s soccer practice one day and looking over at the kids playing on the nearby playground. And I see a little boy, maybe 3, pants pulled down to his ankles, bare but in the air, just standing there like he just don’t care and peeing right in the middle of the mulch next to the slide, where all the other kids are climbing up and down, totally oblivious to what’s going on around them. But as I get in a little closer, I think, yep, I know that butt. It’s one I’ve wiped many times over the years. And The kid it’s attached to, well, you guessed it,  he belongs to me. But you can bet your ass I wasn’t about to cop to it. I sat there with all the other moms, like “I’m glad that’s not my kid….am I right?” Our saving grace? He only had to pee. This was before we had all these doggie bag stations that, in hindsight, could really be used for double duty...pun intended. 

So I’m not running any physical races like David but I’m definitely in the marathon of life like everyone else. And that’s exactly how I feel most of the time. Like I’m on a literal deadline. Halfway through with still so much to do, always thinking about my next step but finding myself, unlike David, hard pressed to make it. Why can’t I be like Nike and “just do it?” What happened to that motivation I felt when I first started? It drives me nuts because really for the first time ever, I have high expectations for myself! But when I don’t meet them or feel stuck, that's when the anxiety builds, I can’t sleep, my stomach is in knots and I find myself spinning my wheels because my brain is so busy that my body stops. It’s when I know, I need a major reset and some copious amounts of self care.  

And that’s where awareness, self compassion and self discipline come into play. Being aware that what I’m going through is totally normal. And is actually to be expected when it comes to change but it also doesn’t mean I should quit. It just means I need to have more compassion for where I am at this point in my journey, along with the discipline to use the tools I’ve learned about and leaned on in the past to support and move me forward at...whatever pace I’m able. As long as I don’t stay stuck. And isn’t it always the way that when we don’t feel like doing something, it’s the time we need to do it most? 

For me that means...all the things. Gratitude journaling, getting outside, asking for help, leaning on others, meditating and a really big one that’s been a challenge for me during the winter blues is exercise, because I literally want to move through all my shit. What’s it mean for you? Do you have a gratitude practice? Because to get more of what you want, you gotta appreciate what you have, right? How about what our friend Dr. Huberman says about light and depression. Are you getting the all natural stuff at least once a day on most days? Are you moving your body as well as strengthening your mind? Because we need to do both. And creating some structure where these habits and routines become a daily discipline can help you do just that.

If you liked what you heard, please go on over and check out David and James full interview #421, “Never Be Satisfied with Your Life...Find Your New 100%”, on the James Altucher Show. Links to the episode and both their social media as well as David’s book, “Can’t Hurt Me”, are in the show notes below.


If you enjoyed today’s podcast please subscribe and share with someone you think might benefit and until next time, Thanks for listening.