A cleanse, a surgery and a life-changing lesson in the power of trying again.
What challenges you the most is your greatest opportunity to become your best self.
I went to breakfast with a friend a few weeks ago. She’s a fellow Founder/CEO of an established business, discerning and a go-getter. When she says something helped her, I listen and often give it a try myself. This is when the topic of doing a cleanse came up. I told her how I often felt groggy when I woke up and tired during the day. She suggested an herbal cleanse she did a while back that left her feeling great, rejuvenated and with a clear mind. Two hours later Amazon had my order and my herbs were on their way.
Twelve days of clean eating and herbs plus a nasty-tasting elixir twice a day were on the menu. What I hoped to feel at the end was squeaky clean and bouncy — bounce out of bed, bounce to my meetings, bounce with the kiddos when they got home, bounce right back into bed and do it all over again.
But what I got was a lesson in the small ways we build confidence and how life is working for us, all the time, giving us opportunities to be our best selves.
On this cleanse I ate a healthy diet — specifically, no flour, sugar, tropical fruit or dairy. And each day, when I went to grab a snack, or eat any meal for that matter, one of these “avoid” foods was always the first thing I’d reach for. Then I’d have to go back to the recommended foods list and try again.
Over and over again, I had an apple instead ice cream, oatmeal instead of toast, veggies instead of cheese. It was very hard, especially as the days went on, to not grab the sweet treat… especially chocolate. But what I learned in those moments when I sat with the desire, acknowledged the weakness — and then still managed to stay on track — was that over and over again, life gives us opportunities to show ourselves we CAN.
My experience with a cleanse might sound silly, but the lesson applies in all kinds of circumstances.
Two months ago, my husband had emergency surgery — we went into the ER expecting to leave in a few hours with some medicine in hand, and instead were at the hospital for eight days, unsure in the beginning if he’d make it, and for seven of the eight days, unsure if he had cancer. The good news is he doesn’t have cancer, he recovered perfectly from his surgery and received the wakeup call he needed to put his health first.
During those eight days, I shifted from being a wife that was often preoccupied and un-appreciative in our moments together to present in every moment. I was there, not knowing if it was day or night, remaining emotionally steady. If you asked me how I felt, I had no feelings. I was in survival mode. For better or worse, my only objective every hour was to make sure my husband was heard, helped and healing. There wasn’t a rush to get home or back to our daily life; there was a rush to be attentive and present. Life gave me an opportunity to try again, to reset my mindset.
In both circumstances — one where I was able to choose better when all I wanted was the Ghirardelli bar, and the other where I was reminded how to be present in the moment and full of unconditional love — I learned just how capable I am of choosing better.
And I do not say this for a big pat on the back. I say this to tell you that life is on our side — it’s giving us opportunity after opportunity to be our best selves, to show up, be present and grow so we can exponentially thrive from challenging situations — no matter how trivial or life-changing.
All day every day, we are given opportunities to choose better — for us, for our health, for our relationships, for our lives. And when you feel like you keep failing over and over — when you’re not your strongest, best self — instead of saying you just can’t and making it about who you are as a person… say, “Ok, let’s try again. I want to try again.” And then life will give you another chance, and you try again. You try to do better. And you may have to try again 100 times, but each time you are growing, you are becoming more aware, and you are acting with the energy and mindset of I CAN… simply by virtue of your request to try again.
This simple shift in your mindset, in your language, will change your life. It will trickle into everything you do, how you think, and what you believe is possible. You no longer attach failure to your identity of what you’re not, and instead attach it to what you can become.
And think about the last time you really tried. Gave it your all? Next time you’re faced with adversity rest in the moment, drop into presence and really feel where you are and see if you can sit with it. My husband was forced to sit with where he was for 8 days in a hospital bed — and now his will to try again, and do better, is 10x before.
Each time you do your best in a moment and fail, think about what you can try next time to help yourself succeed and with full compassion and gratitude for that opportunity to try again. And when you do, when you are able to show up as your best self, you will see just how powerful you are, how capable you are, how you CAN do anything you put your mind to.
Then, and only then, will you be ready for life to show up with full abundance flowing in all aspects of your life. You’ll feel worthy to receive it, you’ll know you CAN accept and survive whatever comes your way, and that higher vibrational thinking will keep you stepping up the ladder of love and acceptance of yourself and others.
I know you CAN, because I can. And if one of us can do it, all of us can. Together, we can make this world a better place by choosing better in the moments, showing up willing to try (and try again) and knowing that we’re capable of anything we put our mind to.
For me, it’s resting in love with my husband at all times, even in anger or disappointment. How can I show him love, compassion and admiration for who he is? I’m so grateful he is still here so I can try again at being the best partner I can be.
How can you choose better today? Show yourself you can. And if you stumble, that’s ok. Ask to try again. And be grateful for however many opportunities it takes to realize your best self.
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