Feedback, what happens when you don’t get an immediate reaction?

I met a new gym member on Christmas Eve in my boot camp class (forgive me I don’t remember her name :/ ) and while I was training her (she was also the only woman brave enough to show up for  boot camp at 6 am on Christmas Eve) the subject of feedback came up. Like myself, she was a Communication Studies Grad, and I was telling her how I have only really put my degree to good use once I started this blog. I mentioned to her that I’ve gotten some really good feedback from my blog, and that was motivating me to keep writing. But then she asked me what if you don’t get any feedback? I explained to her how WordPress tracks my stats for me, and I get instant feedback from anything I post, same with Instagram and other social media platforms that I’ve been using. But it did get me thinking… What if I don’t get any feedback? What then?

I think that we’ve become so used to getting instant feedback and instant gratification from a lot of the things we do, that’s why we keep doing them. How do you think the whole “selfie” phenomenon got started? We keep talking selfies because people keep liking them! I’m not gonna lie, I’m a ham. I LOVE attention, I do. I wouldn’t say that I do anything for attention, I’m not that insecure. BUT I do love the attention once I get it. I’m always looking for feedback. Especially now that I’m trying to build a brand for myself, and trying to expand my network, every time I post something, I check to see what kind of feedback I’m getting. Do people like it? Is it good? What should I post next? Am I on the right track? And I know I’m on the right track because of all the positive feedback I’ve been getting both on and offline. But what if I didn’t get instant feedback from all the things I’ve been doing?

I think we can get into a very dangerous place when we’re constantly relying on external feedback for approval. Yes, it’s great that we now live in world where we can share ideas instantly, and network with one another on a global scale. But you shouldn’t be posting things, or doing things “just for the likes.” You would be living a very meaningless life if everything you did was meant for the approval of others. It becomes very superficial, and dishonest if you start to live your life this way. Now this may seem slightly ironic coming from a bodybuilder, where the whole sport is judged based on your aesthetics… But there is no way I would still love the sport if I did it to be validated in some way. It is not worth all the discipline and hard work just to get “likes” on my Instagram photos, and a trophy. I do it for myself. It makes me feel great. The discipline that I get from the sport helps to give me focus and drive for the rest of my life and career.

The only feedback that really matters is the feedback that you give yourself. Whatever you post online, or whatever you do in life should feel good to you. If it feels right, if it makes you feel good, and if it adds to your life in someway then by all means keep on doing it. But if it takes away from you happiness in someway, if you’re no longer doing it for yourself, but for the approval of other people, then maybe it’s something that you should quit? People are fickle, one day they love you, the next day they can’t remember your name. Don’t let other people determine your self-worth or your happiness.


The Importance of Goal Setting: Living your life with intention and purpose

Ever since I started my prep I’ve been reading, and the last few books I’ve read were: “Leave your Mark” By Aliza Licht, “Total Recall, My Unbelievably True Life Story” By Arnold Schwarzenegger, and “#Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso. I’ve read more, but these are the most recent. All of the books I’ve read had similar themes. They all talked about their success stories, and how they became the awesomely successful people that they are today. I found these books to not only be highly motivating, and entertaining, but educational, and informative. These books helped to drive me towards setting myself up for my own success, not only with my prep for my latest show, but for my career as well.

To be completely honest, at the beginning of this year leading up to the summer I felt a little lost and unhappy with how things were going for me, especially in my career. I lost a lot of my confidence in myself as a Fitness Professional, and there are many reasons for this happening, but the main reason being that I was not (and still am not) making a heck of a lot of money. Because of this, I cannot be independent yet financially and it really, really blows! This is no body’s fault but my own. I put myself in situations, and jobs that were not paying me what I deserved, but also didn’t challenge me the way that your career should. I wouldn’t say that I’m completely happy now, but I am definitely more confident, focused, and driven! It was through my prep, my friends and family, and basically investing more in myself, that I found my confidence, focus and drive. I found myself again! I’ve been investing in my physical fitness for a while at this point, but not my education, or my career like I should have been. I realized in the new year that I was unhappy with my career, and I knew that I wanted more. The problem was I was afraid, and didn’t know how. It took me a lot of self-reflection, encouragement from friends and family, reading,blogging, and obviously bodybuilding LOL that helped me find my passions again! I found my purpose again, I found my WHY!

Once you have found your why, your dream, or main goal in life. as I have learned from reading the above books, it is now your job to make those happen! I have always been a highly motivated and driven person. I can honestly say, without trying to toot my own horn, that I am one of the hardest working people out there! Once I’m passionate about something, I will do anything to earn it! I knew I was passionate about bodybuilding and I already had goals set out for myself this year which was to win at the KWO Show. I set my sights on this show 11 months prior, and literally everything I did leading up to the show was in preparation to walk away with a top three placing, and to qualify for Provincials. When I got to the show, I wasn’t nervous like I was the first time. This is because I planned for it, and I planned to win. I knew in my heart that I was walking away with a prize that day, and I did. I placed second! I did everything I set out to do! The trick for me was to start applying the same hard work, discipline, and passion that I have for this sport back into my career. And here is where the meat and potatoes of this blog post come in!

Once you have your purpose, or the big dream that you want to achieve you need to make sure that it is well-known. You can never forget your purpose, because if you do, you will leave yourself feeling like I did. Lost, scared, unhappy, and unmotivated. So tell the world your intentions! This makes your goals real. The more you talk about your dreams, the more real they become. I told anyone and everyone who would listen to me about bodybuilding LOL My goals in the sport, my training, my coaching, my dieting. You cannot shut me up when it comes to this sport! Haha And recently I’ve been the same way when it comes to my blog. My main goal in life/career (same thing) is to motivate and inspire others to better themselves through health and fitness. I am so passionate about health and fitness! It is literally my life! It is all I do, it is all I talk about, it is who I am! Legit, ask anyone who knows me. I take my own health and fitness very seriously, because I love the way that it empowers me, and I genuinely want to inspire others to make fitness more a part of their lives for that very reason.

That is step one! I literally just demonstrated it right here on this blog. Set out your goals, set out your purest of intentions. Write them down, tell the world, and make them real! Once you know what makes you happy, you now have a purpose, and once you have a purpose, you have direction. Now you know what to do, because now that you know your ultimate goal, everything you do everyday should be a step towards the bigger picture. I’ve learned through reading these books (and I guess I’ve always known, just re-affirmed through reading) that there is no off day when it comes to being successful. If you really want something you need to live and breathe it everyday. It becomes a part of who you are, your daily routine. This is how I was so successful in Figure this year. I planned my meals, cooked, measured, and packed them everyday. I was always prepared, I did my workouts everyday. I did not miss a beat! Now that I have re-discovered my career goals/passions I’ve been treating these goals the same as my bodybuilding goals. I write them down, and I talk about them on a daily basis, I talk about the daily successes and failures to anyone who will listen LOL I talk a lot by the way, probably why I have so much material for a blog lol so many feelings!

The reasoning behind this is, is that it keeps me focused. I never forget what I want or what’s important to me. Not everyone will need to discuss their lives as much as I do. I am just a highly social, extroverted person. I get my energy from others, so when I need a jolt of energy to keep me going, I socialize and talk out my life. Now you can’t just talk the talk and not walk the walk. Like I said before, if you really want something, you need to live and breathe it everyday. It needs to become a part of who you are, and your everyday life. If I want to make a career inspiring others through fitness, I need to keep up my own personal fitness, and nutrition everyday (check! I already do that), and I need to reach out to people in some way everyday. More recently, I have now started treating my business the same way as I have treated my bodybuilding prep. I have even continued the same discipline I had for prep into my off-season so far and it feels so great! This hard work and discipline is a major theme I’ve found in all the books I’ve read as well. If you really want to be a #Bossgirl you need to put in the work! So, now I create daily/weekly and even monthly goals. To do lists if you will. Tasks, that I need to get done everyday or else my day is not over. For example, during my show prep there were certain things I needed to get done everyday in order to be ready for the stage like early morning fasted cardio, my weight training, post workout cardio, eating 6 meals a day, and meal prepping everyday so that I am never stuck without diet food. As I’ve mentioned before in my posts, if you’re not prepared then you are prepared to fail! So when it comes to my career goals, I’ve told myself that these are some things that I need to do everyday: workout, and 25 minutes of cardio a day, meal prep and plan out meals to meet calorie goals everyday, post on social media everyday (create a better network to help further my future business/personal goals), read something everyday (personal and professional development), when I’m teaching and training clients I must be completely engaged. There are more things, these are just the more consistent daily goals. There are other goals I set for myself each day regarding my business but I don’t want to make this article too long. Then I have weekly career goals like: post at least two blog posts a week, and make at least one video a week (this one is new). There are more goals, but basically everyday, every week, every month I am working towards building my blog, boosting my visitors and views, building my network, creating my brand, and growing my business.

Reading the above books, has awakened this belief that I once had that if you keep knocking on the right doors someone is bound to answer! If you stay focused, persistent, and positive, good things are bound to come your way! You need to know what you want, and then figure out how and what you need to do to get there, and do those things literally everyday, all the time. People may think you’re crazy, or obsessed LOL And maybe you are! Haha But if it makes you happy? Then who the fuck cares?!?! Bodybuilding makes me so happy, fitness makes me so happy! Do you honestly think I care that I am the only one of my friends who actually enjoys it as much as I do? No! I did not care that much that I was the only one dieting at the Way Home Music Festival this past summer… I mean it was fucking hard, and it sucked at times but I wanted to win my show so bad that I didn’t care what people thought of me. I just got it done, cause I knew that’s what I had to do. It’s the same type of attitude that I have re-kindled towards my career and the rest of my life! I have found my fire and I will be damned if someone tries to put me out! When I did this last show prep, I was determined to make it mean something. I could not half-ass the work, I could not just say “Hey! Look at me! I’m doing a show. Go me!” And not make anything come of it…l literally couldn’t afford that… legit I could NOT AFFORD THAT! In every sense of the word! It is the exact same for me right now when it comes to my career… I CANNOT AFFORD TO FAIL! THIS ALL HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING! I know that this is where I belong, I know that this is my passion, and I am more fired up than ever to make it happen. I have put out my purest intentions out into the universe, now it is up to me to make my dreams real. You get what you give, so if you want it all, you need to give it your all. Simple as that. I want the world… I want to make fitness a career. So, everyday I treat my workouts, my diet, my blog, everything I do as if I am being paid to do it, because one day I want to be paid for this. So if I want to make that a reality, I need to take it seriously. Just like I take myself as an athlete seriously, I need to take the rest of my life seriously as well.

Don’t be afraid to believe in yourself! Take yourself seriously, take your dreams seriously and make them real! Live everyday with purpose. As if you’re already living the life you want to have. It will make you feel so much more empowered, confident, and happy to know that you are doing everything in your power to make your dreams a reality. It is so satisfying and rewarding to know that one day all your hard work will be rewarded, but the first step is believing. You have to know this in the pit of your stomach, and then all the work that comes after, becomes a labor of the purest love. This is something I’ve recently learned (again) and it has helped me so much!

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Me at my last show October 10th 2015 where I placed second in the Figure Tall category. One of the many cheesy photos we took post show. One of the best days of my life! All my hard work paid off just like I knew it would because I planned for it/worked for it.