My Choose To Rise journey has been anything but smooth. My Choose To Rise story is the same as most people’s. You realise sometimes you just have to Choose To Rise because you get so fed up with the shit, you get so tired of being sick and tired, you get bored on your own BS and what’s happens is you start to take matters into your own hands. You proactively choose to make your life the best it can be and if your anything like me then you don’t even know what that will look like. You don’t know where to begin but you decide you’re going to Choose To Rise anyway, that you’ll figure it out, because quite frankly what else are you gonna do? You can’t change the past, but going forward you can do something about that.
For me, I consciously made the decision to Choose to Rise about a year ago, but honestly, I’ve actually been rising to that point since about 2012 when I read my first self-help book, the famous law of attraction book, The Secret. I started to realise things could be different, but that year was hard. We were living in Tony’s parent’s caravan and I was so ashamed that only close friends knew. We were broke, the flat we were supposed to be moving into the estate agents turned out to be another level of dodgy and took our money on a flat that we couldn’t move into (electricity fault and the flat failed its safety test). They refused to give us our money back, I went in and sobbed and pleaded with them. They didn’t care. She said “it’s nothing personal just business” and that if we wanted our money back to take them to court. They knew we had no money to do so and that our case wasn’t strong enough. Karma got them in the end as I’d find them in the local paper, the husband went to prison for fraud.
My aerobics business was struggling that year, I became depressed, my hormones were all over the place. I had polycystic ovaries and I was angry with my body, we were trying for a baby and my periods had stopped. I was trying so hard to be in great shape, to be a good role model for those that attended my class but I never felt good enough, I never felt fit enough, I compared my body to online fitness personalities and felt less than.
Despite people telling me how my class was the best they’d been to and the fact, I’d built a community where we’d all wanna hang out together – we’d have Christmas parties, Race for Life events and weekly coffee morning with the kids. Yet I never felt I’d done enough. I’d create such a bond with these women that when I did fall pregnant they’d throw me a surprise baby shower. The community was amazing and people would say amazing things, the problem was I never really believed their words, I thought they were just being nice.
Despite me never really believing in my potential things started to change for me on a massive level. Now that I knew things could be different due to discovering self-help and spirituality things were. By the next year I’d fall pregnant, the wonderful Grace The Day would sponsor my business. I couldn’t believe my luck. I would be a semi-finalist for a business award and I had to do a video for this. I was supposed to ask people to vote for me but I couldn’t. So instead I said, “any votes would just be the icing on the cake”. Whilst that was so true and we are always more than needing some award, there was a big freaking issue here. I was scared to ask. I didn’t think I deserved it. I was worried about what people would think. I felt cheeky asking people to vote for me, I felt sick about the whole thing and couldn’t believe I was in the local paper up for an award for my business. I was scared people would think who is she to win an award. I so didn’t see my worth, bless my shy little heart in that video, I want to go back and give myself a hug and say you deserve this. I didn’t believe I deserved a sponsor for my business. I never really believed I deserved a successful business.
It didn’t matter what I achieved, I would still focus on all my failures and anything slightly negative people would say would eat away at me. The small minority who had something critical to say, I’d believe them. People would pass comments on my body, not the amazing woman in the community but outside of the community people talked. From eye rolls, at a charity event about the fact, I was now running Cheer classes, to comments about how I must not eat and my size, to an online comment about how I didn’t look anything special for a fitness instructor. It got to me. Every little slightly negative feedback or comment made me more determined to be better, not knowing I was already good enough. I was plagued with insecurity about my lack of coordination. My struggles with grammar made me feel stupid and I felt even more stupid that I’d miss the beat of the music. I’d give myself a hard time with thoughts like “why can’t you just get it together and be like all the other instructors”.
I never realised at the time, those things I thought were flaws were my gifts. It meant I could create classes that were super fun and got results. I knew how to create a routine that was easy to follow, but hard enough that you didn’t get bored. I’d create an atmosphere that would take your mind off the fact you were working so hard. I knew how to throw a badass playlist together that was gonna get everyone going. I knew these things because I wasn’t naturally gifted with coordination, academic abilities and I was insecure so I knew the importance of connection, making the women feel they truly mattered and that they belonged here.
Not finding things easy gifted me with the natural ability to connect with the woman on a deeper level because I knew how it felt to not be fit after having a child, to not be coordinated, and to be lacking in confidence. The problem was I didn’t see the beauty, I just saw the ‘flaws’ in me. I didn’t love myself. At times over the years, I believed I did. As I started to rise, as my confidence grew, I’d do more things out of my comfort zone which led me to the false conclusion that I did love myself but in reality, I didn’t.
Fast forward a bit. After spending a lot of time in the personal development, self-help and spirituality scene and having two businesses under my belt I’d learnt a wealth of knowledge. I had times where I felt amazing, life felt wonderful and everything was great and my confidence definitely skyrocketed. I started doing things that I only ever dreamed about. That woman that was terrified doing that video and asking for votes started her own frigging YouTube channel in 2016. The girl that was insecure about her struggles to read, write and pronounce certain things became a blogger with brands wanting to work with her. All of this inner work I was doing was me unconsciously rising, going to the next level, achieving things a younger version of myself would have thought was insane.
Only there was one big fucking problem. I didn’t love myself. Even when I thought I did, I realised I didn’t. At the beginning of 2018, I finally realised that. That my love for myself was conditional. If I had a community around me, great friendships then I’d love myself. If my body was looking toned, then I’d love myself but if I dared to let myself go, which I never actually did, but believed I’d had for many years after giving up my fitness business and inevitably putting on weight then I wouldn’t love myself. I’d give myself a hard time and beat myself up.
My self-love was always on conditions. Things outside of me, from how I looked, to what others thought of me to whether I was deemed as successful by others. My whole self-worth was based on the external. At the beginning of January 2018, I felt amazing, on top of the world, I’d finally got my head around things or so I thought. Everything was about to change. By the end of January 2018, I felt utter sadness. Something happened, something seemingly insignificant but that would change everything. At a blogger meetup, a comment was made about a friendship that had fallen apart for me and boy oh boy was I not cool about the comment. I felt this massive sense of shame, I couldn’t believe it had been brought up. The feeling of I’m not good enough reared its ugly head. I was worried about what others would think of the situation. In the weeks to follow I handled the situation badly, I didn’t have grace. I was jealous. I didn’t say anything at the event, I just brushed past the comment, but the weeks to follow were so hard.
Things were made harder because only a few months before we had moved. We were now living in a tiny village, my friends were no longer on my doorstep, I felt cut off from everyone and my ego was bruised because we were back living with inlaws after another financial blow. To add salt to the wound not only were we living with inlaws we were living with random strangers. We were living in their B & B and so we could never just relax, I could never just sort my head out because there was always people around, whilst I knew we were lucky to be in this position to sort out finances, I was mad at the universe, why on earth had this happened?
I was pissed, I was sad and I still wasn’t over the friendship breakdown. That innocent little comment made me realise that I was totally not over it despite thinking I was. In my despair, I put on a Danielle Laporte audio for comfort and she said in this audio ‘sometimes you just have to Choose To Rise‘. I got all giddy and excited because I knew I couldn’t change the past, I couldn’t even understand it or why it had happened but I’d been doing this self-help stuff long enough to know when you just start where you’re at, in your current situation and you take action, things do change. I’d seen the evidence of that myself with all the stuff I’d achieved and all the things I’d been through over the years from sexual men shame to childhood abuse, there was nothing I’d hadn’t got through, but in my hour of despair I’d forgotten that and at that moment I remembered again. I remembered that I was my own bloody savior and not only that, but I also witnessed a pattern in my life that would change everything.
Throughout the whole time, I never believed I deserved it or believed in myself. I never felt good enough. My happiness was completely dependent on the things outside of me, the crap I wasn’t in control of for the most part. So whilst I didn’t know how to rise, I decided today I would anyway because sometimes you just gotta choose to rise. I got the memo. I decided to do the only thing I knew I had to do, the thing I’d been telling myself I was doing, the thing I’d heard about for the last 6 years and said I was doing, but in reality, I was studying it, kinda doing it but not fully doing it and that thing was self-love. To finally learn to love me. I made the decision to consciously Choose To Rise and the first step was loving myself and I had to go all in. The next steps would be revealed to me, but I had to play full out and learn what self-love meant on a whole new level before I could learn the other steps and that changed everything.
Within a few months, I’d go from realising I was totally unfulfilled to feeling super fulfilled, to launching my first audio programme and wellness box. From there, things have gone from strength to strength. It hasn’t been all plain sailing, there have been things that have hurt me, curveballs and failure but I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say my life is so soulful, so fulfilling and sometimes I have to pinch myself.
This year I’m running my first ever event, once upon a time that was the dream (update, it was amazing). This year I started offering coaching which I never thought I’d ever do, but when you start rising the possibilities of what you can achieve is limitless. This year I’m writing my first ever book (update it’s been delayed, life was a bit crazy in 2020, I know you know and I’ve given myself permission to take a really effing long time with it, as long as I desire). That was a dream of mine, in fact, I started writing a book when I had my fitness business and at the beginning of my blog journey, but as per usual it never amounted to anything because I didn’t believe in myself and worried about what others would think. Now it’s happening. The book is becoming an actual reality. It’s insane what happens when you consciously choose to rise and you play full out. I want everyone to have that. I want everyone to have that life.
So if you ever feel like you want more from life then you can absolutely have it, but honestly, it’s not gonna happen until you consciously decide to rise. You gotta play full out and the first thing you gotta do is start with step 1, loving yourself. I mean properly loving yourself. You do it half-arsed and you get half-arsed results. You can start right at the bottom of the self-love ladder, I did all those years ago when I was unconsciously rising, but when I committed to doing it full out last year then that’s when things shifted big time. So if you want fulfilment, if you want your dreams to be a reality, if you wanna be happier and live more soulfully then always choose to rise because no matter what you’re going through, rising will always make things better.