Do You Surround Yourself With The Best?

You’ve heard it before. In order to succeed, you’ve got to “surround yourself with the best.” This philosophy finally hit home for me one evening in my cardio kickboxing class, and I saw first-hand how important this concept is.

Previously in my class, I didn’t really exert myself or even break much of a sweat; basically, I’d been a pretty mediocre participant. We routinely paired up with a partner, and one of us wore boxing gloves while the other held up pads to hit. And then we switched roles.

Up until recently, I paired up with someone who was pretty much like me—strong and in-shape, but not really one to go all-out. My partner and I always had fun during our sessions and laughed a bit and talked about our personal lives in between punches. No big deal, no big sweat, and then class was over.

Intrigued by a superstar

Each week, though, I noticed a woman who really intrigued me. She was incredibly lean, super strong, visibly very fit. During class as I practiced my punches and jabs and watched my form in the mirror, my eyes were always drawn to this same woman. She was fierce like a tiger. Beautiful with a blond pony-tail, her face was intense and her eyes laser-focused when practicing her moves.

I had a longing to be her partner to see what it would be like (even though I was actually slightly afraid because I knew she was probably capable of some pretty powerful punches!). So one evening before I left home to head for class, I planned on partnering up with this woman. I visualized it working out perfectly so that we would be right next to each other and naturally hook up as partners.

That evening in class, everything unfolded just as I had envisioned. “Lisa” and I smiled at each other and introduced ourselves. She looked even stronger close up! I was ready for the challenge. I was the first one to put on my gloves, and Lisa nodded at me with a “Let’s go!”

I hit the pads she held up, and I hit them hard. I paid attention to my body to make sure I was using proper form. And I was strong! I felt a combination of pride—and shock—that I was doing so well. Previously with other partners, I held back because I didn’t want to hurt anyone. But Lisa said I could go harder and that I shouldn’t worry about her. So I gave it all I had! Together, we were on fire. I was punching the pads so hard that it sounded like fireworks were exploding in the room.


I became a superstar, too

To my delight, our instructor came by and commented on how well we were doing together. It felt incredible. And I think I even gave my super-star athlete of a partner a good workout, too. I smiled inside to myself when Lisa said, “I thought you were new to this class…you’re so strong!”

When it was over, I felt a little light-headed. I had never before pushed myself to that level of intensity! But I was so grateful for the experience to unleash a power within me that I didn’t even know existed.

So what’s the point of all this? In the past, I hadn’t held myself up to high standards, so I never really knew what I was capable of. I always sort of “played along.” But I had this deep desire to see what I could really do.

And when I picked out the best to be in my sphere of influence, I blew the roof off.

That night was the first time I truly realized my power. Growing up as a girl and taught to follow “lady-like” rules, I never dreamed of hitting anything or being aggressive. The physical exertion and punches I threw were just what I needed to show off my unrestrained limits.

Time for you to shine!

We are all capable of so much more than any of the outer edges we impose on ourselves! Now, following my joy includes having the courage to shine my light as brightly as I can.

What is it in your own life that you are intrigued to “try out”?

Where do you want to push harder or go farther?

Who do you need to surround yourself with in order to succeed?

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7 Responses to “Do You Surround Yourself With The Best?”

  • Becky says:

    Thanks for the uplifting "kick" to push up out of our comfort zones and realize our true potential! I feel re-energized after reading your post! Also, the photo at the top is amazingly beautiful – it looks like a place near Manzanillo I was last February. So peaceful and joyful! Thanks for the great post – makes me want to take kick-boxing again too!
    Becky Henry

  • Really great post and totally what I needed today! Thanks!

  • This is such an important point. We need to lead others–and also have people around us who we are inspired by. Together we all lift each other up. Way to go in your class!!

  • I loved reading this, and it's making me wonder who – at this point in my life where I am right now – do I need to surround myself with? I like to think that naturally we attract to us those who mirror what/who we are. Could I be more intentional, though? Could I intend to go higher / become better?
    You have me thinking and I like it! Thank you!

  • Lisa Saline says:

    That's totally fun. Way to go on moving on to a mentor/partner that will allow you to throw punches without holding back. It is so true that in life you need a mentor. Someone who can inspire you, motivate you and push you to take the next step toward your goals.

  • Sharon R says:

    Wow, Michelle, you always get me thinking!!! Good for you for envisioning that….we both know..simply "it works!!" I needed those questions at this point in my life….I tend to become complaicient (sp??!) in my life and the few times, I "take it Higher"….I get magical results….:)))(Higher is one of my favorite Creed songs :) I need to realize that I, too, can grow and be someone better and stronger and more confident.. and not just the same person…I have that in me…I just have to tap into it…as you did in your class…I have to remember "just because I haven't 'been there' doesn't mean I can't be there……love you, Sharon :)))

  • Hi all! So glad you enjoyed the post and that it got you to think. Here’s to your success!!!

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

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