Putting yourself out there.

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Back to reality and still in a little disbelief at what happened over the weekend; like, what did I just do?! I remember saying I will never want to do a (half) Ironman race. Ha, NEVER SAY NEVER! I wouldn’t say that the race changed my life; rather, the whole process is what changed me and my mindset towards life.

It’s ironic how I made the decision to embark on this journey at a terribly low point in my life, where I doubted myself greatly and lost faith as a result of the emotional anguish. I remember feeling lost in life and was on the verge of just giving up on myself. (I feel silly when I look back now but it’s ok, it’s part of life.) But no, I learnt to value myself more than that.

Simply, when the bullshit keeps getting thrown at you, don’t let it bring you down. Keep fighting through and growing that seed of belief. So many valuable lessons I’ve picked up in the past 4 months and so much more to grow from here. Things really happen for a reason and sometimes we just need to embrace the pain in order to achieve the next level.

I have learnt a lot this year – I learnt that things don’t always turn out the way you plan or the way you think they would. I learnt that there are things will go wrong and not get fixed. I learnt that some broken things stay broken. I learnt that you can get through bad times and have better times so long as you have people who love you.

Thought I would share the lessons I learnt on this journey:

1) The mind is limitless; you are your own limit.

Frankly, I never fully believed it when people used to say, “You can achieve what you set your mind to.” A little part of me would scoff some and hold doubt, but that was just my inferiority complex talking. Now, I believe that you really can achieve what you want if you strongly believe it. If you think you cannot, then you will not. Of course, you need to be realistic about your goals and you need to put in the hard work.

2) Things can get rough, but things always get better with time.

There are times when the road gets rocky and you fall off track, lose motivation or even lose sight of the goal; just like how I felt when I jumped into the sea for the swim leg of the race and it was so chaotic! It’s perfectly normal to run into speed bumps in life. But the key point is to get back up and get going again; like how I just have to focus on swimming as I get kicked and pulled in the water, but eventually I will complete the swim and move on to the next segment of the race. It might get frustrating at times and you wonder why things are so tough, but you will get through it and with time, all will be better. Time is your best friend.

3) You’re not alone in the pain.

Everyone is fighting their own battles and each person’s pain is relative. What is painful to you, may not be as painful for others; but always remember that others are also suffering their own struggles that we may not know of, that they are hiding behind their smiles. It’s like how I look at everyone else during the run leg and we are all feeling the same pain!

4) Everyone’s journey is different, but we are actually all fighting for the same things.

The path each of us takes may be different, but ultimately we all have similar goals. We want happiness, peace, a comfortable life, a healthy body. It’s like how each of us will have a different race (some are better at the swim or the bike or the run), but we are all headed towards the same finish line.

5) Be willing to go alone sometimes.

Not everyone who started with you will finish with you – and that’s ok. Be prepared that people will drop out along the way, though new people will come onboard your journey too. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking the journey alone – it doesn’t mean you are lonely (#AloneWithoutBeingLonely).

6) You are responsible for your own happiness.

Happiness is found from within. If you expect others to make you happy, then be prepared to end up disappointed often. You need to be able to be happy on your own and not depend on others to make you happy. SELF-LOVE YO! Happy people focus on what they have, unhappy people focus on what they are missing.

Don’t stay stuck on who hurt you or who did you wrong and end up closing your hearts off from achieving better. Simply, don’t let your fear of what happened in the past ruin what you have today. Focus on becoming a better person so you attract someone who aligns with you. Don’t get overly paranoid that someone will hurt you. Create from love, not pain. Create from inner peace, not fear. Start shifting your focus, so you can experience something real and genuine. That will help your healing process.

If you’re still looking for that one person who can change your life, take a look in the mirror. Happiness starts with you, not with your relationship, your job, or your money, but with you.

7) Build a strong support network.

Be someone that other people can trust and have the courage to be direct and tell other people when they have offended, hurt or disappointed you. I read somewhere that successful women have a loyal tribe of honest women behind them; not haters, backstabbers or gossip mongers, so be a woman who lifts other women. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you not only in good times, but especially in bad times.

8) Learn to ignore and don’t overthink things.

Above all, stay classy. I can’t stop emphasising this. Learn to ignore the actions and words of those who don’t matter to you; invest your energy and time elsewhere. Once you become uninterested in looking back, you know you’re on the right track. Stop overthinking and getting paranoid and riling yourself up over nothing. Just chill!

9) People hate you because of the way others love you.

Jealousy. Some people resent it when you are doing better than them, as they struggle to genuinely wish you the best. Then they try to destroy you because of your power – it can be power of influence, power of happiness – but because they don’t want it to exist.

10) Learn not to believe words, but actions

I’ve learnt not to believe what people say, but rather, watch what they do, because anyone and everyone is capable of living a lie. People – whom you think you know well – can ultimately become ‘unknowable’. Don’t be so quick to fall for what people say – remember that words are cheap. Only time will tell, so don’t rush things.

11) The past cannot be changed, so choose to let go and forgive.

Forgiveness does not mean forget; forgiveness does not mean weakness. When you choose to forgive those who hurt you, you take away their power. Let go of things that no longer are broken and don’t keep trying to fix it. If you try to force things back, things will only get worse. Holding on might seem brave, but moving on will actually make you tougher. Forget the past, remember the lesson.

12) Look for lessons in pain and free yourself.

We are human and we all make mistakes. We are wired to handle mistakes without losing sight of your worth. You can change, you can grow and you can keep going. There is nothing wrong with not knowing better at times, just don’t deny yourself the truth when it hits. The truth actually heals – it’s a guiding force.

Fear might make you cling onto old ways so make sure you take time to heal, free yourself through new thinking, and release the past and the weight of its memory. Choose to believe that you are better than before – and you will be.

13) Sometimes you have to step back in order to move forward.

You might feel like you’re being thrown back, but sometimes we were headed in the wrong direction or there are things we need to learn. Don’t get disheartened – take a step back and re-evaluate and then decide on your next steps carefully. Ask yourself what you want to achieve out of the journey.

14) You only fail if you quit

The only way to succeed is to see it through. Don’t give up till you find that inner peace, don’t let go of the process. Mistakes are not failures; they are learning lessons. Loving the wrong person, choosing the wrong job; don’t blame yourself for it. It’s not failure – just a stroke of bad luck perhaps. The only time you fail is if you give up.

15) What goes around, comes around

Just walk away and leave it to the hands of Karma. ‘Nuff said.