I’m a big believer in values – more specifically, defining your own, writing them down, and living them out. Furthermore, I believe it is better to have one or two you stick to for life than to have ten you thought about once and never applied. Unbreakable Strength Co. might be my coaching business, but it is so much more than that – Unbreakable strength is a reflection of the personal code of behavior that I am constantly striving for, and the method through which I want to share the gift of health, wellness, and strength with my clients, friends, family, and my community. With that in mind, I’ve written a brief manifesto of what it means – to me – to be Unbreakable.
1. Foster Relationships first
To me, this means being attentive and accountable in all of my relationships. Granted, this may look different for a client, vs a spouse, or a parent – but the core of it remains the same. Don’t listen to respond, but rather listen to hear their experience, empathize, make sure you’re being the kind of person you *think* you’re being in the relationship, check in on how that event they were worried about went, ask about how their daughter’s graduation went, etc….
When it comes down to protecting your community, it may mean that you create a space for those who don’t “fit in” in other spheres, that you rally around someone who’s struggling to meet medical bills, or that you fire an employee who’s behavior is constantly toxic to your staff at large.
Bad exam grade? Don’t wallow, but study more next time. Hurt someone’s feelings? Take accountability, apologize, and move on. At some point, we have to take ownership of our decisions and the outcomes that flow from them. Yes, there are many situations in life we can’t change, but we can take ownership of our responses, mindsets, and reactions to those situations.
In the words of Jocko Willink, “Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges…The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win—you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline, that too translates to more substantial elements of your life”
When I was hospitalized for 6 months after my pelvic crush I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by folks that cared so much about others that they chose to go into nursing – they emptied my catheter bag, changed a bed pan, and sponged bathed me on a daily basis. Humbling, to say the least.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the most experienced, strongest, most well read or well educated, or if you think you’re the best at X in the room – you’re not above anyone. Leadership is towing weight, doing the dirty work, and leading in front, not barking orders from the back.
I might train clients, but at the end of the day I also plunge the toilet and change the roll. Be humble and do the hard thing.
4. Treating small things with importance
Last, but not least (this list is not a hierarchy) – the small things ARE the big things. What, after all, is excellence if not small things executed well. Getting up a little extra early, writing the thank you cards, saying thank you, remembering folks names, doing the little exercises that aren’t very fun…everything in life adds up, to be unbreakable means to know that and act accordingly.
This doesn’t need a great deal of explanation, but resilience here means continuing to pursue the hard thing. To persist at things you are new at, to be kind to others even when you’re having an off day, to keep your head down and do the work necessary even when you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, doubt, worry or fear. A key component of resilience is endurance, in the words of Angela Duckworth – “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” Be rare.
This little list is by no means exhaustive, but it composes the core of “what it’s all about” to me as an individual, a coach, a spouse, and a business owner.
What are YOUR values?