Theodore Roosevelt once said, “We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out.”
Though I don’t expect you to live your life the same way the Twenty-Sixth President of the United States did, we still can find inspiration in his life philosophy.
There’s a major difference between wearing out and rusting out.
Rusting out happens when we do nothing.
Wearing out happens when we take action, even if it’s painful at times.
Everyday life provides us with an opportunity to lean into the pain or lean away from it.
Leaning into the pain means having the tough conversations. It means getting up when you’d rather stay in bed or doing something instead of complaining. It means making the right choice, not the easy choice. It means trusting that all will eventually be okay—even when your fear tells you the exact opposite.
Leaning away from the pain means standing on the sidelines of life. It means taking the easy way out. It means treating life like a dress rehearsal as opposed to a real show in front of a live audience.
It’s time to change from your practice jersey to your game jersey. Game day is here. It’s been game day all along.
So, how do you become the kind of person who fearlessly leans into the pain?
You do this by fully committing and doing the hard work that’s required even when no one is watching.
You do it by being prepared.
You do it by trusting in yourself, trusting your decisions and trusting your path.
Most people spend their lives straddling lanes.
Half in this lane, half in the other, stuck in the purgatory of in between.
When you lean into the pain, it means that, come hell or high water, you’re willing to choose a lane. You make a choice, even if it doesn’t end up going as planned.
Even though it might feel like you’re walking on a tightrope without a safety net, I’m here to tell you that the safety net has been there all along.
I know it feels like you need to find “stability” before you can act, but here’s the truth: your mindset, actions, and efforts offer all the stability you’ll ever need.
Everything you need to shift your actions from “one day” to “now” is already in your possession.
The person who you most need to invest in, believe in, and support along the way—is you.
The simple fact is that if we don’t bet on ourselves, no one else will.
You don’t have to be exceptional, you just have to be you. That alone is exceptional.