on respect and who you surround yourself with


How is everyone feeling after a Monday St. Patty’s Day? I don’t know if people got too rowdy or not–I know I, for one, just took the day as an excuse to wear my green gym clothes and to teach a St. Patty’s Day themed spin class, complete with what came up in my YouTube search for “Irish Dubstep:”

In my element!

In my element!

Friends who spin together smile together!

Friends who spin together smile together!

It’s the halfway mark of Molly’s love your body challenge (I think), but there hasn’t been a post yet today. So, rather than rely on her for my inspiration and starting point today, I’ll dig up some inspiration that’s been on my mind for a while: surrounding yourself with the right people.

As of late, I’ve been overwhelmed with how much I feel supported and respected by the people in my life. I’ve been flip-flopping about what I want to do (my five year plan is a little messy), but I’ve never had so many people in my life just assure me that I’m figuring it out and that whatever I choose, if I choose it for the right reasons, they’ll be happy for me. This kind of support is refreshing.

In the past, I’ve relied on others far too much to tell me what to do and which choices to make. Whether it was which training program to follow, which clothes to wear, which diet bandwagon to jump on, or which career to make my goal, I let other people drive my decisions. Slowly—and maybe as part of growing up or as living and learning through mistakes—I’ve come to realize that the people I want in my life are the ones who will respect me even if what I do isn’t what they do. Examples?

  • I’ve got a supervisor who is okay with whichever politics I bring to the table, even if he wouldn’t write the same thing if it was his own work.
  • I go to a gym where CrossFit and lifting might be king, but no one is going to judge me for wanting to be an endurance athlete, a yogi, or just a recreational exerciser.
  • I’ve got friends who would love it if I came to the pool and rode my bike and signed up for races with them, but who are also just as happy to meet up for froyo or a drink even if I haven’t been training with them.

There is a caveat to this kind of freedom. When you hang out with people who respect you regardless of whether you agree with them or not, it demands more of you. Instead of being expected to assume the same opinion as the people you’re around, you’re responsible for coming up with your own decisions about what is right for you. That requires that you trust yourself a heck of a lot more than buying into the notion that someone else can decide what is right for you.

trust yourself

Next time you’re faced with what feels like a dilemma, instead of trusting the people around you to choose for you, ask yourself what you would do if no one would know about it. Often, what troubles us isn’t not being able to figure out what we want, it’s worrying about what other people will think of us if we don’t do what they want. In the end, the most important thing is doing what is right to you. The people around you, if they’re on your team, will stick with you anyway.




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