Are You Improving Your Who or Trying to Be Who You Aren’t?

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By Jaime Willis

Like many of you, I really enjoy the New Year. I love reflecting on everything I’ve been able to accomplish in the previous year, thinking about the stuff that didn’t work out as planned, and mapping out my vision for the upcoming year.

I enjoy goals — the bigger, the loftier the better.

This year’s New Year’s Resolutions started out simply and tritely enough. Lose weight. Exercise More. Same old, same old, right? My cousin is getting married in June and has asked me to be in her wedding, which was a great (additional) motivation for my health goals.

As I started thinking about how I would incorporate health into my life, I was strongly considering signing up for bootcamp classes. Bootcamps are typically women-only, group “personal” training that focus on both cardio and strength training. Lots of great things about bootcamps — camaraderie & accountability, someone pressing you beyond your physical comfort zone, less expensive than a personal trainer, etc.

Why was I hesitating? The 6:00 am start. Which means a 5:00am wake up call, 3 days a week. Anyone who knows me well knows that the only time I am up at 5:00am is when I’m still awake from the night before. I am NOT a morning person.

After asking a bunch of friends, I still was having trouble making the decision — I really wanted to commit to the bootcamp, but I really didn’t want to get up at 6:00am. I decided to pose the question to my coach – what should I do?

What happened next is probably one of the most profound insights of my life.

My coach very quickly helped me identify that the 6am wake-up call was not aligned with WHO I am and so I shouldn’t sign up.

Then she asked, “doesn’t it feel great to make a decision that honors your true Who?”

“No!” I quickly retorted.

It didn’t feel great. It felt lame, like I was this defective person that had a get-up early handicap. Just like I can’t keep my house clean. Just like I can’t seem to grocery shop & cook on a regular basis. Just like I have trouble figuring out what to wear every morning. The next words out of my mouth shocked even me.

“I feel like I would make an excellent man, but I am a crappy woman.” (And no, this isn’t some big reveal about how I need a sex change operation — I’m talking about the “roles” of women and men have in our culture.)

By Mary Engelbreit

You see, growing up, all my female role models — my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts, my friend’s moms, the ladies at church, etc., were all of a type. And, because many of these women read this blog, I want to be clear — I am not trying to judge these women, or say one is better than the other. I love these women dearly and think they are phenomenal.

The type of women I grew up with as role models were so amazingly domestic. My mother is probably the best hostess on the planet. Seriously! She gives coupons for visits to her home as gifts and people practically punch each other to get the coupon. She’s that good.

No one is asking for a coupon to come to my house. I’m either deflecting visitors from coming over to view my piles of “to be sorted” this or that, or begging a friend to come “work” on decluttering my house — a far cry from my mom’s hostessing prowess.

In the “womenly arts,” my family of women have collected all the merit badges. They are awesome.
And next to them, I truly can’t compare.

Albert Einstein probably said it best: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Here’s the thing though — sometimes it isn’t *other* people judging us that hurts us. It’s us judging ourselves! I may not be the hostess my mother is, but I can talk to a room of 1,000 people with no planning. I may not being the snappy dresser my best friends and aunts are, but I can fix almost any computer problem you have. I may never cook an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, but I can organize a week of travel for 20 people.

Rather than focus on what I am *not*, I want to focus on WHO I really am. I’m not going beat myself up for not being a tree-climber. I’m going to be excited to be the best darn fish I can be.

I won’t be signing up for the 6am bootcamp. But I know that I will find a “Jaime” way to get more fit this year. Awesomely, I have a much better chance of being successful at my goals when they are aligned to my true self.

I want 2012 to be the year that I honor my true Who in all that I do.

How are you honoring your true Who?

Now you can hear more about this post from my on YouTube!  Check out my video below.

10 thoughts on “Are You Improving Your Who or Trying to Be Who You Aren’t?

  1. Awesome thoughts! Totally feel vindicated about not being a morning person! Now I just want to know if that first picture is the correct way to do a "Plank"?

  2. Awesome thoughts! Totally feel vindicated about not being a morning person! Now I just want to know if that first picture is the correct way to do a "Plank"?

  3. Jaime, as always you inspire me. If I need a bit of inspiration to get myself motivated I always turn to Velocity and read a post! This post is going to make me truly look at myself and what my goals for 2012 are. I'm thrilled to think about myself and the true who that I am when planning these goals. I'm giving myself the month of January to figure out my goals and be fully prepared rather than jumping in without thinking about who I am. Thanks again!

  4. Danielle: I love it! I agree, it does take a little more thought when you are trying to decide if your goal is aligned to improving your true Who, but I think you'll be happier for the time spent.

    I'm so excited about your continued journey — stay in touch!!

  5. Dear Daughter of My Heart,

    When you were born my wish for you was to be healthy, happy and to know you are loved. Watching you grow into the woman you are today has been amazing. You are unique and so full of life. I am so proud of you! We all have been given talents to use and I am so relieved I don't have to be use yours because I would have a heart attack! Love ya.

  6. Hi Jamie. I feel you, girl! You have to do and be what's true to you or it will never stick. I have another coach friend who offers group coaching around creating a healthy lifestyle in case you are interested in looking into it to see if it would fit you: However you do it, I have confidence you will figure it out and then kill it. :-)

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