I won’t ever forget the moment when I finally crumbled. I was sitting at this table:
and the question was “So Linds, how’s that all sound”?
I wanted to speak. I wanted to answer, but in my head, for the past 5 minutes I had been mumbling:
“Just keep it together, Lindsay. Keep. It. Together. You’re about to look like a total moron in front of these people.
If they don’t look at you, you’ll be fine.
F**k. She looked at me. DAMMIT…AND she asked me a question? F************k”.
And, in response to her question…no words left my lips. All I could do was shake my head and feel the tears slide down my face.
It started in the pit of my stomach and spread to every cell of my body. It expanded outward and ended up pouring from my eyes for a solid two days. To some of you, this sounds awful…but to my people…to the people who “get it” you’ll understand that in order for me to grasp my own potential and see my own path, crumbling was not only imminent…it was required.
My experience of surrounding myself with crazy successful, super smart, ridiculously influential and understanding people left me exhausted, depleted, broken down and questioning the very being of who I am and what I want to be. If you think that’s a bad thing…you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.
Without this “break down”, I wouldn’t have had to lay at the bottom of my life and look at things from a new angle. I wouldn’t have seen the path I now need to take because I was probably standing on the one piece I needed to start, not again, but differently. Without that one foundational piece, I couldn’t forge ahead because I had no idea this path even existed.
The amazing thing about stripping yourself of all confidence is that if you surround yourself with people who “get you”, who “understand you” and who actually believe in you, the only thing you can do is question your worth, figure out what they see in you, buck up and…build again. With stronger material.
It was at a conference where I was surrounded by people who get millions of pageviews, who earn over 6 figures from blogging and who are so smart it makes me feel like my Ph.D. is worthless (I realize it’s not…so eeeeeeeasy, my protective lovelies) that I broke down, cried. It was also at this conference where I rediscovered my power. It was with these same people that I finally realized “well…what the f**k…wait a minute…I’m also super smart and fun and funny and love my people and…HOLY SHIT…I can also do what I love, make an impact and live my why”.
And yes, while I’ve been working on my passion for years now, I still question my worth, my value, my ability to achieve. I love what I do with Hot Mama. I love that we make a difference, that we help people love themselves again, that we provide a safe place for family fitness…we change lives. But somewhere along the way, my confidence began to crumble. With each bit of blame placed on my shoulders, my confidence crumbled. With each failure I saw, my confidence crumbled. With every person who’s left me because they didn’t like a decision I made, my confidence crumbled.
So, there I sat, surrounded by people who work like I do, who know their purpose and who are getting shit done and with 30 eyes on me…I quietly broke. And, while I quietly broke I immediately felt strong and loving arms around me and I felt the energy of these people, people I just met, surround my body and place me back on my feet. I will be forever grateful for the Surge Conference and the people who forced me to finally crumble. I will be grateful for the quiet talk on the beach right after about fighting for your “why”. I will be forever grateful for my roommate whose life is as nuts as mine. I hold close in my heart the stories told, the hurt shared and the love given effortlessly by these strangers who now buoyed me up. I am beyond grateful for the friendships I grew in Mexico because I know they will last my lifetime.
And, I thank the universe and all its power for forcing me to break down around people who work like I do, who believe in their “why” the way I do and who’ve fought adversity and won. These people aren’t loved by everyone and they’re judged just as I am. And yet…they continue on their paths, fully believing in what they do. Just as I will also now continue on mine. Why? Because we’re driven. We have purpose. And we have people in our corner who get us.
I hope one day I can help others break down to break through. It’s awful and beautiful and magical and hard. And, I couldn’t have asked for more incredible people to break down with. I’m here if you need me. ANY of you…because growth and seeing your potential is hard. But, with the right people, the right guidance and by surrounding yourself with people who not only “get you” but also ralley around you…well now…that’s f**king empowering.
I got that. I did that. Watch out, party people…I’m about to break through.
Photo cred: Boudoir by Chee