I roll out of bed and I’m hit with another wave of anxiety and depression.
These past six months have revealed glaring chinks in my armor.
With more time this year to reflect, a lot of past trauma has bubbled to the surface that I'd hidden from myself for far too long. A lot of wounds I had never healed.
Some days I feel good but other days I'm at rock bottom.
Today is one of those days.
I know that by 8 am I have to be at my trainer Aaron’s house, to get our daily workout in followed by an hour long business lesson.
But today I am ravaged by existential thoughts.
What’s the point? I tell myself.
Who cares if I get in shape? Who cares if I learn more about business? Where am I even going with all of this?
If you’ve ever been in an existential loop you know what I’m talking about...you have one thought that leads to another and before you know it you’re stuck in a dark vortex that spins exponentially. You lose sight of all the reasons you started in the first place.
I’m a mess but I know Aaron will be disappointed if I don’t show up at his front door at 8 am on the dot.
So I put my shorts on, throw a hoodie over my head, hop in the car and get there just in time.
He can tell I’m down. We’ve seen each other every day for the past 6 weeks now. Add on top of that the 8 month Ironman training we did and you’ve got a recipe for a mentor who can read you like a book, no matter how much you want to hide away your feelings and pretend everything’s alright.
He doesn’t say anything. He waits for me to open up. He knows it’s coming.
But before I do, he says ‘Let’s get moving.’
I hop on the treadmill for 5 minutes before going into the bench press.
Bit by bit I tell him about the loop. About how overwhelmed I feel by all of it. By life, by my past, by death. How today my head feels like it’s going to explode and I don’t know how to make it stop.
Aaron just listens. He continues directing me from one workout to the next.
He gives me his opinion here and there but more than anything he just lets me vomit out my thoughts. Even more importantly, he lets me move them out.
This happens for an hour.
I finish the last sit-up and I’m panting. I feel better. I'm proud of myself. I'm ready to tackle the day.
Aaron smiles at me like he always does when we finish our workouts.
But this time he’s really beaming.
You see how you feel? Remember that.
When you show up on the days that feel meaningless, on the days where you’d rather wallow in your own negative thoughts, that’s when you start to become a different person, he reminds me.
It’s easy to show up on the good days. It’s easy to go for a run when you’ve had a solid night of sleep or when life's been good to you.
But life’s going to toss and turn you upside down for as long as you live. You can't be dependent on the good days. You'll go through long ruts where you don't see the point in any of it. Discomfort is showing up on those dark days. On the negative vortex days. It’s doing the work when you don’t feel like it. It’s sticking to the commitments you made to yourself long ago.
Because over time, you learn to manage yourself on those days. You start to respond to them differently. You know that by going out and taking action, the energy will shift within you. That within an hour's time you'll feel like a different person. And over time, those dark thoughts won't feel so overwhelming. You'll see them coming and you'll know what to do.
Transformation happens on the shitty days.
But only if you show up.
PS - This July 30th is Seeker Day...a celebration of our community and 5 years of YesTheory. We're bringing back the best sellers of all time and everything on the website will be 30% off. It's the only sale of the entire year. Get ready :)