I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately! I have a lot going on. In case you missed it, I started my own business, Kayla Eubanks Fitness, and I recently launched it. Y’all, it has been so much more work than I thought. I’ve never been a “business-minded” person, and I NEVER saw myself being a business owner.However, for many years, I’ve entertained the thought of turning my love for fitness into a career. I took the personal trainer certification exam years ago, flunked it, and gave it up altogether. But getting back into shape after having the twins, getting hired to be a group exercise instructor, and seeing this blog – another endeavor I wasn’t sure about – grow in popularity, all pushed me to try again. I crammed as much as I could and took the CPT exam again, and passed this time. Still, I was constantly thinking about what more I could offer. I was getting tons of messages every week asking if I was interested in being a “coach” for different weight loss programs, but it just didn’t feel right. I’ve never felt like selling those programs was for me and I felt like if this was something I loved, was passionate about, and was going to put my hard work into, it should be my own brand, with my name on it.
So I stopped saying what I was going to and just did it. I did a ton of research, made a business plan, registered for a business license, bought equipment, set my rates, built my website, made my promotional materials, and drew up all of my forms, documents, and templates, and Kayla Eubanks Fitness was born. Now, I’m still getting my sea legs, working with my first clients, and building from here. It’s a big challenge! But it’s so exciting, seeing something I’ve had dreams of for so long take form and knowing it’s all my work. Looking back, since the twins were born, I’ve accomplished many things. But it’s been hard keeping all the plates spinning in the air. On top of actually mothering my children and being a present, attentive wife, I’ve been finishing my masters’ degree, doing my student teaching at a local elementary school (I only have one semester left!), trying to keep my blog and social media updated and interesting, working with different brands and making sure I produce quality content in my partnerships, teaching my fitness class AND starting my own personal training business. Phew! I don’t want it to sound like I’m bragging, because I’m definitely not – in fact, if you needed a list of everything I’m not doing right, I promise I could provide one just as quickly. In truth, I never thought I had all of this in me. I’ve always had a lot of self-doubt and been afraid to go out on a limb for fear that I’d fail. So I’m proud of myself for finally having the drive to just GO FOR IT, and having the stamina to keep on going for it even when everything was going at once. When I decided to stay home with my boys, I never knew that would turn into all this. And while I do plan to return to teaching in the fall, I’m still so excited about all of the other things I’m doing as well.
In this post, I want to address anyone that, like me, have an idea or something you want to pursue and are having doubts or difficulty fully committing. It could be going back to school, starting a business, finishing an ongoing project, taking the next step in your career – whatever that “thing” is for you. I want to share some thoughts that put me in a “go for it” mindset and kept me there, even when I was riddled with self-doubt. I’ll try to make it as specific to my situation as I can to keep it from getting too “generic self-help quote”ish. Remove my situation and replace it with yours if you want!
1. It is okay that I have failed or given up before. It is okay that I started today instead of yesterday.
I could have beaten myself up for not having passed the CPT exam the first time and waiting years before I tried again. I could be kicking myself for starting at 30 with two kids instead of 25 with no kids. But where would that get me, honestly? All I have is right now – this moment, from here on out. And honestly, who’s to say it was my “season” to do this at that time? Maybe I wasn’t ready, emotionally, or mature enough for the work that would go into it. Maybe I wasn’t meant to start back in Atlanta – maybe I was meant to get my start here in Tuscaloosa, in a smaller, less intimidating city. Maybe it was meant for me to focus on the things I did accomplish back then, like doing a complete career change and becoming a special education teacher. Whatever the reason, I didn’t start when I was a childless 25-year-old, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
2. My day one is not to be compared to someone else’s year ten.
This is such a motivational Instagram sound byte, but how true is it? Social media is flooded with other personal trainers and fitness professionals offering the same services I do. It’s hard not to look at others and compare, or think I can’t possibly compete or catch up to their level of success. But why should I try? If I can look up to someone in a healthy way, cool. But if looking at what they’ve achieved makes me feel inadequate, insecure, or envious, it’s time to check myself.
3. It’s okay to be talented. It’s okay to be great at things.
Is this a woman thing or a person thing or what? Why do we feel the need to downplay our strengths? Why do we think modesty or humility is akin to not owning any of our skills? I had to realize it’s okay for me to say “I can have a successful blog because I’m really good at writing.” It’s okay for me to say “I can start a successful personal training business because I’m physically fit, knowledgeable, and I’m good at helping others.” Owning the reasons why I wasn’t going to bomb at this helped propel me forward when I started to feel my confidence lagging.
4. Yes, I will have to compete. No, it does not need to be my primary focus.
This whole endeavor is tiring. It would be even more exhausting if all I did was focus on the “competition.” The fact is, I’m not doing anything super unique. There are tons of personal trainers out there, tons of online fitness coaches, a thousand different weight loss programs you can join. So starting my own was agreeing to join the competition. But I can’t focus on that – it’s debilitating and takes the fun out of something I really enjoy, and distracts me from doing my best work.
5. Sure, I could be doing more. I could also be doing a lot less.
There’s always more work to be done. More promotion, pushing for more clients, offering more services, more, more, more. There’s ALWAYS more. And I find myself thinking about all the more I could be doing. I have to stop, assess the situation, take stock of what I AM doing and realize for right now, it’s enough. As long as it’s moving me in a positive direction, it’s enough. After all, it’s more than I was doing when I was only dreaming about it, talking about it, thinking about it – but not doing any actual work.
6. There is no rush. I can take my time, plan to the fullest, and do my best work.
One thing that was important to me was that I didn’t rush this. I got my personal training certificate in September and didn’t officially launch until December. And while I didn’t plan to take quite that long – some tough life stuff kinda jumped in the way – I did mean for it to take a while because I wanted to be thorough and do everything right. It took waaay longer than I anticipated! Just drafting all the documents alone took so much work. I was tired before I’d even gotten a single client. But I’m glad I took my time, because now I’m proud of what people see. I’m more than willing to have my name on it.
7. I will balance the what-ifs.
I can’t totally get rid of my what-ifs. It’s the result of being an anxious person – they always come around. But my wonderful therapist has gotten me in the habit of “challenging my thoughts” AKA checking the negativity at the door. So when a negative “what if?” creeps in – “what if I’m not that great at this and alienate any clients and nobody wants to hire me?” I balance it. “What if I’m awesome and build a great rapport with my clients and word spreads around and then everyone loves me?” Do I always believe the negative? No. Do I always believe the positive? No. The truth is, I’m floating somewhere in the middle, but the important thing is I don’t let the negative thought be the only thought.
8. Shut up. SHUT. UP.
Honestly, sometimes the most helpful thing I can do for myself is just tell myself to shut up and get out of the way. I’m not always so clean about it – sometimes I insert some choice curse words in there too. Whatever I need to say to myself to quiet that voice – just for a moment – that says I can’t do it. There were so many times where I said in my head “OMG just shut up and do it.” And it actually helped. I shut up and did it.
9. Imposter Syndrome is a real phenomenon. And I am not an imposter.
I’m not the only one who gets Imposter Syndrome, right? For those who aren’t sure, that’s when you’re doing your job or thinking about your accomplishments and you have the sudden, overwhelming feeling that you really have no idea what you’re doing, you got where you are by mistake, you’re a fraud and someone is going to find you out. It’s massively annoying, but it happens to me all the time. In this process, I have had to remind myself that it’s all fake news. It’s a weird psychological phenomenon that lots of people experience but that is not based in fact.
10. My sons need to see this.
Looking back, I have always known my parents to have a hustle. My dad is a medical photographer who designs and sells unique jewelry in his spare time. My mom is an elementary school teacher that runs a successful private tutoring service out of her home. And those are just the big ones – they’ve both always had side hustles, to the point that I thought it was a normal thing. I want my boys to grow up and feel the same way – that it’s normal to work hard, to strive for the next thing, to excel in your career but use your talents to build something for yourself.
I implore you all to try whatever that “thing” is for you. That career move you’ve been wanting, that degree you’ve been thinking of getting, that creative project you’ve been wanting to dive into – whatever it is. Do. The. Thing. DO THE THING! And then let me know how it goes!