By: Sarah Fredette

The cold hard truth is that we believe everything in the journey is supposed to be glamorous, but that cliché image of the perfect beautiful journey to success is highly flawed. Growth, change, progress, it’s not linear, it’s full of highs and lows, ebb and flow, and encounters that will cause us to examine our habits and how we show up to life and meet it when things are difficult.

No one likes to make a highlight reel of those parts in our journeys that break us down.

It’s the reason people are quick to throw in the towel while in pursuit of the goals they have set out. We’re fed this unideal image of what the journey of transformation looks like but we’re not taught about what it feels like.

I train and compete in a sport that requires a great deal of mental strength and adversity. Rome was not built in a day and that mental strength and adversity is not something I obtained overnight. This sport has put me through the ringer, physically, mentally, and emotionally in both training and on the platform in competition.

I spent 6 months battling numerous different injuries and having to navigate and adapt my training to meet the needs of healing those injuries. I’ve chased the numbers on the barbell only to come face to face with those numbers and fail again and again and again. There have been days of training that have caused me to feel so inadequate at the core of my being.

I have had to face the reality of almost every aspect of who I am and how I choose to show up.

I’ve doubted myself on numerous occasions. I’ve questioned if I was good enough to be pursuing what I do. I’ve had thoughts that I’m not good enough.  There were occasions where all I could think about was how I’ve been handed obstacle upon obstacle to overcome; the moment I heal on injury I get another, what’s the point?

What is the point of all this?

I’m sure you’ve pondered that one once or twice about what you’re doing right?

The point is this. You won’t get the picture perfect journey. None of us will. You will get the option to choose which direction you want to go though.

Evolve or remain. But either way the same discomforts and challenges will arise along the way.

Here’s what you need to know:

The journey is hard sometimes, sometimes more often than not. It’s normal. Let it be messy.

Perspective will change the game. Choose to see the opportunity to evolve in the obstacle you’re facing. 

The moments that seem the hardest, where you want to give up and give in. Fight.

Examine the doubts you have of what you capable of and strive to move beyond them.

Be willing to do the work. When it’s difficult, when you no longer want to, when it seems like too much.

What I found in a moment of achieving success is this. The joy present in that picture perfect glamour shot didn’t come from pulling under a barbell loaded with a lifetime best weight on it. It came from the mental strength and adversity that had been built that lead to that lift. It was built in the moments full of doubt and struggle, the moments of where it felt like a loss. It came from the courage to be bold, to fight, overcome and to continue to overcome everything in the face of adversity.

The pure joy of succeeding in your goals won’t be built in picture perfect moments; it will be built in the darkest moments and hardest crossroads.

The image of outcome is developed by the work you’re willing to do. Decide who you want to become and choose that person daily.