i am just {an impact}


Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said "nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."  I have seen this quote many times but never really thought much about it. But the past few weeks I have thought about it a lot. And to be honest, I think it's a bunch of hooey.  

Inferior is defined as "of low standard or quality, a person lower than another in rank, status, or ability."

Consent is defined as "permission for something to happen or agreement to do something."

So why on Earth would I give someone permission to make me feel like I am of poor quality? I didn't and yet there were multiple times in the last 14 days that I have been made to feel that myself and what I do are less than what others do or that I should aim to do more with my life. 

While I do not feel that every comment or action (and believe me there were plenty recently) was made or done in a malicious manner, I sure as heck didn't say "hey guys let's make me feel like complete trash today." 

To be told, even indirectly, that I should aim to do more with my life or that someone feels they are capable of so much more in their life than "just being a trainer" had me questioning what I do, why I do it, and if I am letting people down. Am I settling? This thought sat with me for a few hours and then a client, I will call her Judy, came in and showed me that she was wearing her wedding ring. She was pretty darn excited to finally be able to wear that again. Then I remembered Judy also told me a few months ago that even through my DNF I inspired her to sign up for her first race ever. 

Well crap, that's quite an impact on someone who I have worked with for just a few months. 

I then started to think about what being just a personal trainer has allowed me to do. I am a trainer but I own my own business in which I have a fitness studio and I have other trainers who share my space. I get to watch my clients be able to wear a wedding ring after years, run their first 5k, pass their Personal Trainer exam, win Miss America, work through some tough times, see something in themselves they didn't before, and simply gain an entire tribe of people who support them. 

Just as importantly, I get to make an impact in my community through my business. I can volunteer at any and every event that I want to. I can sit on the Missouri Valley Homeless Coalition, the Erickson Merkel Scholarship Foundation, get involved with the AFSP and NAMI or any local chapter/nonprofit that I want, be a Friend of the Library, host as many fundraising events that I want, cover as many events as I want to as a member of the North Dakota National Guard, and of course I can be as active as I want both locally and regionally for Team Red, White and Blue. Being able to be as involved with Team RWB as I have been, growing as a leader within the organization has also lead me to start my own mentoring program, the ME TOO Movement.  So let's talk about just being a personal trainer again. 

As just a personal trainer I have won two national awards for my business's involvement and impact in the community.  One of which only 12 women were selected out of around 1000 people. 

I started to think about all the reasons that I should not feel inferior, little or less than. BUT I still did feel that way. And I gave no one permission to make me feel such a way. So how is it that no one can make me feel inferior with out my consent? 

I think the quote would be more accurate if it was worded more like "people may make you feel inferior without your consent, but it is up to you how long you allow them to make you feel inferior." 

What is my point with this rant? Why did I list a number of amazing things that I get to do everyday by just being a personal trainer?  

Because I think all too often we are scared to live big.

We are scared to admit that we may actually make a difference in the life of someone else. 

We are scared that we may care so much about something and fail.

And somehow when you don't fail it is even scarier to know that you are not here to just be mediocre. 

So regardless of what you do for a living, if you are just a {anything} please know that it is up to you what you will do with any title you hold. You get to {impact} the people around you however you choose to. And people around you for whatever reason, intentional or not, may make you feel inferior, with or without your permission. That is okay too, as long as you don't allow that feeling to stay. Your value as just a {anything} is the value that you decide it is. In fact, your value or how important you are as a human being should be based on how effectively you live, your awareness of your potential, and the empathy and kindness you show to others in any role or title or position you find yourself in.

Permission granted or not, other people may make you feel inferior and maybe sometimes we need that brief moment of feeling small, inferior, less than, so that we can take a moment to remember all the reasons that we are not. 

Maybe I needed these reminders to know that I am not just a personal trainer.... I am actually just an {impact}.