You Think You're Determined - But For What?

photo credit: Callum Snape

photo credit: Callum Snape

I was asked to speak at an event called Strong Camp a few weeks ago and the theme of discussion was determination.

It was a group of women coming together for the weekend to get their sweat on and empower each other - so naturally, I could speak about being determined to stick you your meal preps and workout routines.  But for me, determination digs so much deeper than that.

Determination.

It's your firmness of purpose. By definition?  The process of establishing something exactly - typically by calculation or research.

You're determined, I'm determined. Every single person is determined - but for what reason? What is your motivation? And is it even that good for you?

Here's the thing, I've been determined my whole life. 

I was determined that I would get that job.

I was determined that I would have the best trip.
I was determined that I was going going to get the drunkest on Friday night. 

I was determined that I would date that guy. 


You know there's so much that can go into determination - but what are you actually putting your energy into?

So now is the part where I tell you my life story and how I got here today. It starts with my mom who was, in fact, determined to have me...and there I was. Growing up, my mom was so determined to raising as a strong independent person.

Work hard.
Build something for yourself.
Never have to depend on others.
You are strong and independent.
Be determined.

Damnit, Fran! Bless my mom. She raised me such good hearted intention. Of course you'd want your child to grow up and be this self sufficient performing human - right?

So without me knowing, I created this story for myself. A story that had me walking around with a pair of tinted sunglasses that forever made me see life differently. That story lived deep down inside me. One that made determined that I would never need help from anyone.

A. Help would mean that I wasn't independent.
B. Help would mean that I would need things from ot
hers.
C. Help would mean that I had failed.
D. Help would mean that I was weak.

So I picked option E) determined to not pick any of the above - and when I was 18, I moved out of my house and was determined that I would be successful.

I took a year off after high school because I wanted to do way too many things with my life. I started working for a travel company in Toronto. One thing led to another and next thing you know I came home one day told my parents I was going camping..in Zimbabwe - they thought I was crazy.

That trip changed my life. I felt was it was like to experience perspective. I was out of my comfort zone, in fact, I was uncomfortable as hell. And LOVED it.

Long story short, that brought another determination out of me: I would travel to 30 countries before I turned 30.

And I did just that. By 24 I had hit my goal and was living this picture perfect life. Key word being picture.

My life was far from perfect.

In between all of these Facebook and instagram posts was a hot mess of a 24 year old girl. She was unhealthy, overweight, unsatisfied and completely lost. I had had this depreciating value of self worth. I was in a relationship where my boyfriend didn't respect me but I never left the relationship. I was in abusive relationship with my boss at work and couldn't summon the strength to quit. I was anxious. I was depressed. I didn't even know who the hell I was.

I feel like I hit rock bottom in my life a few times - we'll call this the Great Depression #1. But one thing was pretty much a fact even through all of this: I was determined that I was fine & I was determined that I did not need help.

So I did what I did best, ran away from my problems and went on a trip..because if you haven't learned that running fixes all your problems, you should know that it does now.

..just kidding.

I'm going to fast forward a few years through an incredible world tour, a new job and a move to Vancouver and right up until today.

I was determined to have a great trip, and I did. I was determined to start a new life here, and I did.  I was determined to take control over my life and get healthier, and I've lost over 60 lbs.

OK FINE YOU PROBABLY GET IT, I'M DETERMINED.

Through all of this I just want you to consider what you pour your life, soul, love and energy into. Up until now I've spent my life so determined to bust my ass for whatever I wanted and the only thing that I didn't put energy into was learning how to compassionately love myself.

I was not determined to respect myself, love myself, empower myself, care for myself or serve myself. Doesn't that seem crazy?

So if you're going to be determined to be or do something - be determined to take a stand for yourself. Do what you know you need to do, even though it won't always be easy, or enjoyable at first, but it'll get easier.

Be determined for the right reasons.

Ally PintucciComment