Dreams Don’t Just Have to be Dreams

I think we all have experienced at one time or another what we would call the perfect day. You know the day where all of the stars are aligned and the weather is gorgeous. You slept through the entire night. You wake up and coffee does not get spilled on your shirt. You open your email to see that it is jam-packed with only the best news. You go to the gym and get a PR. You eat your favorite meal for dinner and even have some dessert.

These are the days where you more than likely are tapping into that creative side of your brain, relentlessly thinking about your dreams, and filling up sheets of paper,  promising yourself that no one and nothing will get in your way from reaching them. Not even a pay cut, a geographical change, or a challenging conversation will get in your way.

So what happens to those dreams when that perfect day ends and the “not so perfect” days begin to fill up your week? Do you stop chasing your dreams? Do you find yourself settling? Do you begin to scroll through Instagram, gawking over everyone else’s life and go down the jealousy road? Do you quit talking to your coach, loved ones, co-workers, etc. and try to do life on your own?

Seriously…who do you show up as on the bad days?

I want to know who you are on the days where sleep was less than mediocre. Where you had to change your entire outfit because coffee went everywhere. On the days where your email is flooded with challenging conversations and you go to the gym only to find that you can barely lift over seventy percent and you just so happen to be on the bottom of the leaderboard? On the days where you forget to go to the grocery store and are basically hosting an in house version of Food Networks “Chopped”?

How you show up on the bad days will define how you chase after your dreams. 

I vividly remember one of the very first weeks I began working with Co-Founder of Brute Strength, Matt Bruce, as my Olympic Weightlifting Coach.  And one of the very first things he told me from the get-go was this, “Lauren the bad days make you appreciate when the good ones do roll around. Put your head down and grind. You will not have PR’s every single day. And if you make the choice to skip reps, not punch your head through, and lose sight of the finer details, who do you think you will show up as on meet day?”

What I did not realize at that moment is that Bruce was speaking from the heart and from experience. And if you are not aware of what this man has done over the course of his lifetime, I encourage you to take a moment and do your research. But for now, let me just leave you with some numbers of Bruce’s athletic career:

During his career, his best snatch was 152kg (334 lbs) and the best clean and jerk was 192kg (422) at a bodyweight of 85 kg (187 lbs).

The point of all of this is of course not to brag and boast about Matt Bruce, but to showcase that you do not get to that level without sacrifice, adversity, bad days ( a lot of them), grit, and perseverance.

So if you take away anything from this blog, leave knowing that on the days when you have to train alone, fail reps, miss a PR, end up on the bottom of the leaderboard, or feel as though you want to give in a quit, know that choosing how to respond vs. react on these days are going to set you apart for the better. If for better, they will astronomically highlight just how determined, dedicated, disciplined, and hungry you actually are to reach your dreams.

Remember, your dreams do not just have to be dreams. So choose courage and change over comfort. Give yourself a fighting chance to be the exact version of yourself that you desire to be and do not let the bad days stop you. Instead, use those days as leverage to prove to yourself that there is no amount of adversity that can stop you, even if it may slow you down.

Let me give you a few steps that will help you stay on track to crush your dreams since we all know that the good days do not come around as often as we would all like for them too…

    • No, this does not mean on your phone or computer. I want you to grab a pen and piece of paper and physically feel yourself WRITING out your dreams on something you can carry around with you.
    • Until you write out what you want in your life, it is just going to sit in your brain and probably not get the attention that it deserves just like all of those pictures on that throwaway camera or your phone that you promised yourself you would get developed by now.
    • This does not have to be a sixty-page single-spaced perfect plan. So do not over complicate this step and fear it.
    • Know that it is okay to create a plan to get you started. It does not have to be the exact plan that is going to get you to the finish line.
    • The point here is to get you to take action.
    • The worst thing you can do is be unrealistic and chase after something that you truly know you are not willing to do in the long run.
    • Identify and acknowledge the fact that no one is going to make this dream miraculously happen for you. You have to do this for yourself. You have to take one tiny step towards reaching that dream every single day.
    • Dreams take work and effort. If you do not believe me, call up your mentor, coach, or someone that you aspire to be.
    • This is the most important step.
    • Look at your dream every single day, especially on the bad days. (hence why I said write it out on a physical piece of paper).
    • Stay in tune with WHY you want this dream and do not let those bad days funnel you down the road. Stand firm in who you desire to be and be relentless.

Remember, you control your life. Who you show up as on those “not so great days” and how you decide to make the most out of those days is ultimately a very telling sign of how much you are willing or not willing to put forth the necessary amount of effort to make your dreams your reality.

If you find yourself dreading the “not so great days” and having very self-defeating conversations with yourself (inner talk) work towards shifting that mindset. Challenge yourself to be better each and every day no matter what is thrown at you.

Through Adversity Is Treasure and you ultimately are the treasure so fight for yourself and fight like hell to reach your dreams.