A lesson in strength.

A few weeks ago, I had one of the most stressful weeks of my career. I had a shoot for a very big thing that I’ll tell you about that in my next blog. It involved a lot of prep work in the preceding weeks, and during that time I was determined to make it PERFECT. I told myself, “Girl, this is a big deal. There is no room for illness, error, or anything else that could jeopardize this opportunity.” Needless to say, I stressed myself out with all of the self-inflicted pressure.

I’m sure you can guess what happened next… Yep, not only did I get sick, but I lost my voice (which I very much needed for this shoot), AND almost didn’t make it because of the crazy March snowstorm in NYC. Also, my husband had to go out of town and I had my daughter to worry about. I was not pleased.

But guess what- I did it. I figured it out. Because there was no other choice. I called my mom to come and save me. I went into the city before the blizzard hit to ensure I would make my call time. I took medicine and did vocal exercises and drank elixirs. And I made it through- WITHOUT breaking down.

A few days later, a close friend said to me, “I cannot believe you didn’t lose it. You were so CALM!” And I explained that something switched in me. During that week, I went to a different place. It felt like I was in the eye of the storm. Quiet, concentrated, and completely devoid of emotional charge. One thing at a time. Put out this fire. Then this one. Then that one. Then, showtime.

I learned something that week:

When we are TRULY pushed to our limits, we discover that we are superhero-level strong (tweet this!).

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Expect the best, plan for the worst,” right? I’ve never been a fan of that quote because I would rather plan for the best. However, I think there is a way to plan for potential obstacles without labeling them “the worst.” I prefer to say, “Expect the best, plan for the sh*t to hit the fan at some point.” It’s not “the worst,” it’s just life. It’s a big ass snowstorm in the middle of March. It’s laryngitis. It’s dragging a carry on suitcase through 10 blocks of snow because your train was canceled. It’s annoying, but it’s not the worst. We’re all going to live through the day.

And at the end of that day, we’re left with the (possibly newfound) confidence that we are, in fact, expanding. The higher we climb, the higher the stakes (tweet it). We must expect this and practice handling it. And we must keep climbing the ladder despite the risk of greater loss.

I’m sharing this story with you because we all need to be reminded of our strength, that what we need in stressful times is already within. Like Janet Jackson says in “Rhythm Nation,” “This is a test- No struggle, no progress.”

I’ve compiled a list of takeaways for you, as we ALL continue to grow bigger:

  • Some obstacles cannot be foreseen or planned for.
  • Always expect things to go differently than you have planned.
  • There is always a way to make it work.
  • It is totally okay to call in the big guns and ask for help.
  • Perfection does not exist. Also, perfection is boring!

Finally, a little wink from the universe: Last year on Daily Burn we did a superhero theme and my superhero name was “Force Majeure.” The fact that we made this shoot happen in March with the high risk of Force Majeure was not lost on me. I feel like I won the battle. The picture at the top of the page is from that week, but you can view the video in its entirety HERE.

In my next post I’ll talk about coming down from that crazy week, and how I went into “Bare Minimum Mode.” The results of that little experiment astounded me. But more on that later 😉

Now go jam out to “Rhythm Nation” and I’ll see you soon. And if you liked this post and want to share with a friend, please do!