As 2023 draws to a close AND as my 43rd year turns into a 44th, I cannot help but notice the double whammy of reflection – both in terms of the calendar year and this year around the sun. In one way, I did not “grow” at all, and yet, at the same time, I am grinning ear to ear because I see this as a HUGE victory. HUGE!
My big takeaway after my race this week is that consistency is actually an often overlooked sign of growth.
A New Way of Looking at Things
I first woke up to this concept in my health and wellness coaching days. I had a client who had the most challenging time losing the 20 lbs she was dying to lose, and on my darker days, I felt like I failed her. Until one day, she said to me (unprompted), “Wendy, do you know how amazing it is that I have been rolling with you that I have not GAINED? But for doing these groups with you, I know I easily would have put on 100 lbs. But I didn’t. I know I have not met my goals, BUT I am still here – perhaps unchanged on the outside – but this is a BIG deal for me.”
I never thought of it that way. Here I was stewing, trying to find the exact right words or motivation for her – and yet – she was GROWING more than I realized because of her sheer consistency. Consistency was growth in that season of her life because she did not fall back into or uplevel her unhealthy habits.
Now, back to my 2023 (and 2002!)
I have resurrected my passion for running and races, thus also renewing my sense of analyzing splits and mile times. I have a newfound hobby of stalking all my past race results to see how far I have come/slowed down/sped up. (If you are really curious to see all of my times, feel free to look here, it makes me feel a bit naked and exposed, but heck, I have nothing to hide).
What is the numero UNO thing I notice when I look over the races where I was actually RACING (there was a sprinkle in there where I was having fun running with different teams for charities)? I have remained DAMN consistent.
In 2002, right when I began law school, I ran a 5-mile race. I found those results today:
That is me on Line 8 – Wendy Sare (22F) Arlington VA 42:52 2/ 13
Pace = 8:34:40
How wild is it that TWENTY-ONE YEARS LATER, I ran almost the same time!?
While you might look at the numbers and not see GROWTH (other than 46 seconds), you can surely appreciate that in 21 years, I remained overall CONSISTENT. I did not fall back. I kept it up. I have held onto my pace and my time. 43-year-old me is a RIVAL to 22-year-old me. (Heck yeah!!)
Through 20-something shenanigans, boyfriends, law school, partnership track, marriage, two kids, raising a family, wife-ing, changing careers, LIFE – while there were some stops and starts in my athleticism, I stand here, 21 years later, admiring the beauty of simply SHOWING UP and consistency.
Reflect and Share: Your Journey of Unseen Growth in 2023
We pay so much attention to growth in terms of bigger/faster/more/better KPIs, but it is also vital to note that growth may simply be hanging on to the “same” through life’s challenges and demands.
Looking back at 2023, in what ways have you had perhaps “unnoticeable” growth simply by remaining consistent? I would love to hear it!
If you have a hard time seeing all of the WONDERFUL consistency you have maintained for the last 20-something years, I can point it out after a 30-minute consult call (this is one of my superpowers) – don’t believe me? Try it out – what do you have to lose? Book with me here.