It has taken me almost a decade to learn how to surf. What started as a cool hobby turned into a path of self-discovery. And while on this journey I learned a lot about myself.
One of the biggest lessons from surfing that has translated into every aspect of my life is PLAN AS IF YOU LIKE YOURSELF.
My 3-step formula for planning as if you like yourself includes:
- Know Yourself
- Be realistic about yourself
- Be kind to yourself
The ugly truth about planning that I see in my life is that most of the time we plan in an abusive way without considering where we are at and taking time to assess our current potential. We set up goals that we can not achieve, then fail, then beat ourselves up, then repeat the cycle. Kindness may be in fashion on social media, but in practice, it is one of the hardest things to do.
Planning as if you like yourself is a slow and simple process, and may take time to implement in your life. It is worth it, as it will help you to achieve visions that you were not able to achieve before.
First: Know yourself.
Nine years ago I decided that I wanted to learn how to surf. It was way outside my comfort zone, plus it was super challenging and I knew doing it would help me grow physically, emotionally, and mentally.
And of course, I wanted to be COOL.
It took me a while to start. At the time I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to surf, and the classes were expensive.
So while I decided to put it off I made one small step – I bought myself a lip gloss called “Surf Girl.” And every time I used it I would remind myself that one day I would be, well, a surf girl!
When it comes to planning, the first step is to assess where you are at, what is really important to you at the time. What you really want to execute and what you have to say “No” to. And sometimes all you can do is take one small step to get yourself started.
Second: Be realistic about yourself.
A year later I actually got in the water for my first surfing class. I was super excited and scared. I was ready physically and financially! I expected it to be fantastic.
In reality, it was awful! It was at the Jersey Shore, the waves were too rough and too big for a beginner and I felt abused by the ocean.
What is important to note though is this: after being thrown around and swearing I would never do this again, I realized that I just needed gentler conditions.
Sure, a few other students did really well that day but that didn’t matter because comparing yourself to other people is pointless. It is more important to operate from where you are at.
As I continued to learn surfing, being present and accepting myself every step of the way became essential to making progress.
In order to really stay with a plan, being realistic about one’s abilities, environment, and circumstances is very important. These three variables will keep changing and shifting as you go along. Some weeks are easier, some are downright rough. Be realistic and adjust, this way you will make consistent progress without feeling burnout.
Third: Be kind to yourself.
It took me five years to be able to do a pop-up and then two years to glide. Most people can do a pop-up after 3 classes and if I had been concerned with that I would have given up. Instead, I gave myself a break and learned at my own pace. And I am so glad I did.
The more I surf, the more accepting of myself I become. Instead of pushing through when things are hard I hang back, I pay attention to little movements, I try and embrace my limitations and become intentional about them. My goal is to work through challenges in a loving way.
I use this principle when I am planning anything. If I feel overwhelmed by a task the first kind thing I do is to step back and think about how can I do LESS but at the same time do something. Anything. Even just buying lip gloss!
Surfing was a deep soul calling for me, and I am grateful I had the courage to hear it and bring it to life in a kind way. It helped me to become strong physically and emotionally, face my control freak and be more present, it showed me so many limitations that I didn’t even know existed. Most importantly, it taught me to have FUN.
Do not give up on your big, crazy visions or ideas, perhaps take some time to plan from a place of liking yourself and give space and time for yourself to achieve your big goals.
Because, if I can learn how to surf, you can do anything.
If you do not know where to start with your big vision/idea/project book a strategy session with me.
If you want to learn how to surf, reach out and I will share some wisdom and resources. For a start do not go to Jersey Shore!
Photos are from San Agustinillo, Oaxaca in March, 2021