I’ve mentioned Shane and Laura Phelps Sweatt several times in my posts, but that’s because without them in my life I wouldn’t even be half the woman I am today. I met them at a pivotal phase in my life, at such a young influential stage, where their impressions on me were everlasting and metamorphic. You see, building our physical strength and changing our appearance on the outside can happen rather quickly, but evolving the heart and mind takes much longer.
We are influenced in some way or another by each individual we encounter. We have the ability to choose what we absorb and what we discard. I saw something unique in Shane and Laura that I had never witnessed before. I chose to seek personal growth and mentorship daily. I can’t imagine where my life would be without them. I feel very grateful to have had mentors that showed me the sacrifices it would take to become great. Laura, the world’s strongest woman, is the most talented, yet humble individual I know. While I trained with her, I witnessed her suffer the harsh lash outs of cowards that sat behind a computer screen ripping her apart with cruel comments. She would describe the things that people said and I couldn’t wrap my mind around why people would say such things. Shane always knew what to say to get her head back up. She kept training despite her emotions and put one foot in front of the other.
As an athletic woman, as a Marine, and as someone who chooses to be different, I have experienced similar experiences. To hear or read hateful comments from strangers and/or peers is a feeling that will always pierce your heart and make you second guess yourself. So how can we overcome the “haters” the “naysayers” the jealous peers and the small minded, uneducated individuals that get joy out of putting others down?
Rise Above It By choosing to get to know yourself more than you invest in getting to know anyone else. We are living in a world where people will point their fingers at you all day, openly hate the things you are doing, and yet they don’t even know who they really are. Choose to love yourself. “Dear you, make peace with the mirror and watch the reflection change.” Author Unknown
Rise Above It By choosing to surround yourself with people better, smarter, stronger, faster, kinder, and more humble than you. Surround yourself with people that have qualities that you want to emulate, people that have sound character and ethics that you agree with. Surround yourself with people that want to lift you up and not put you down, people who don’t make fun of you for eating different, training harder, not partying, and devoting time to bettering yourself. Surround yourself with people who hold you accountable and don’t let you make up excuses. “Run with the Lame, develop a limp.” Louie Simmons
Rise Above It By taking the high road. Do not immaturely respond to their posts or comments, choose not to stoop to their level or play their games. (Although among peers, I do believe that once the emotion has gone away, speaking to the individual in a respectful and private manner in order to stop the actions from happening in the future is necessary. If you can’t resolve it one on one, then bringing a third party and more senior individual is recommended.) “Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours.” Dave Willis
Rise Above It By feeling it, absorbing it, and letting it dissolve. There is no way to stop the initial emotion of hearing and feeling the harsh words. Feel it, let it sting for a moment, handle it in private, talk to God about it, talk to someone who loves you about it, but once you’re done feeling it, let it go. Let it dissolve, let it roll off your back and use it as fuel to you fire. Fuel for you to prove to YOURSELF, that you are better than that, and that you will do whatever you set your mind to. “I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.” Mia Hamm
Rise Above It By disciplining your mind to stay so focused on your goals that no level of adversity can stop you. Train your mind to utilize positive self talk and reinforce appraisal in daily small successes. Each day is a miracle and will never happen again, chose to make the most of all challenges, reflect on your weak points and plan to overcome them. “It takes discipline to focus only on high-value targets instead of giving in to the temptation of the low-hanging fruit that life serves up daily.” Mark Divine
At first people will laugh at you, and then the same people who doubted you, will talk about how they used to know you. Dare to be different. Go boldy in the direction of your dreams. Don’t let anyone’s words derail you. Stay your path and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Rise to the top, and when you look back, bring others up with you.