Why is it that we, as women, never allow ourselves to feel good enough? We are never thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough or funny enough. We criticize our abilities as mothers, friends, sisters, athletes, employees, employers and wives. We take on everything, we do not ask for help, we expect perfection and when we are not successful we immediately feel like a failure. 

What does this have to do with fitness? Well, this morning I was training a new partner duo. One of the women in the duo has been training with me for years and the other one was a good friend of hers who I had met once, years back, and helped her make a major change in her life.

What happened in that hour did not surprise me. The client who has been training with me for years is very fit and pushes herself to her max every session, while her friend is battling a chronic injury and is doing everything that she can to become stronger. For the entire hour the friend was continually apologizing to me and to my other client for not being good enough, for slowing us down and for taking away from her friend’s workout.  I could see she was internally beating herself up and she was putting way too much pressure on herself to be someone she is not rather than accepting who she is. She did not feel as though she deserved to be there.

But she did deserve to be there and it was her ego that prevented her from being vulnerable and accepting herself for who she is. What she did not realise was that the exercises that I had her doing on the mat were just as hard for her as the full body strength exercises I was having her partner do and that with time and perseverance she would be working alongside her friend. We have to allow ourselves to be content with who we are and where we are in life and stop comparing ourselves to whom we once were or who we want to be.

Ironically the other client had just returned home from an incredible women’s conference called Emerging Women, in Bolder Colorado, where she listened to the likes of Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, Eve Ensler, and Alanis Morissette (to name a few). These speakers are women who, on a daily basis, inspire thousands of women worldwide to be better, to think bigger and to believe in themselves. In our workout she spoke a bit about the seminars and what she said was the common theme of all of these women’s talks were their own battles with not feeling good enough. When she told me that I asked “well how am I supposed to think I am good enough and believe in myself if these incredible and inspiring women can’t even believe in their own selves?”

This is why I crave physical challenges. I crave those moments where I do not feel like I can do something or I do not feel I am good enough and I go out there and prove to myself that I can do it and I am good enough. And this is what I do with my clients. I challenge them daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to do things they do not think possible, not because it is going to help them to lose weight or become skinny but because it will help them believe in themselves.

We are constantly faced with challenges -- from getting over breakups to overcoming injury to battling chronic illness and I truly feel the most important thing to do is believe in ourselves and allow ourselves to feel good enough. The next time you find yourself at the base of your mountain, getting ready to climb, take it step by step and allow each step to prove that you are good enough.

Attached – Eva Longoria goes for a run.