What Is Your All In?

Taken along the Ceilidh Trail on Cape Breton Island during the Summer of 2015.  A lone windsurfer enjoying what looked to be an amazing surf. Out there living; all in.

How do you know if you are all in.  Fully committed, fully present, and putting as much energy and passion into something as you can because it means something to you. If you are like me some days it is really hard to tell.  Getting caught up in what others are doing; seeing what other people view as success starts to trickle into the mind and suddenly it feels as though maybe I’m not all in?  Well if I’m not all in then why am I doing this; why keep going? Seems like a good time to stop.

It’s a challenge. All in is a challenge and the fear can quickly catch up to us especially when we allow ourselves to compare to what others are doing. The authenticity we initially start with can quickly become muddled with comparison and our ego taking over telling us we aren’t good enough. For me the key is going to be to define what all in really means to me. Take this blog for example. All in for me is at least one blog post a week.  It may not be much but once I’ve defined it then a standard has been set that I can easily look at and say “Yes, I’m all in.”

Reading Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong focuses on the rumble of our stories that we tell ourselves and within that touches on being all in.  All in from the context of is the story we are telling ourselves all in or are we not putting all of our effort into our wholeheartedness. It struck me though that this idea can easily cross into other areas of our life.  Regret will catch up to us if at some point in our life we look back at what we did and don’t think we were all in.  Whether it’s a story, a creative outlet, fitness, work, etc.  So while reading through these ideas of working on the storylines we tell ourselves it occurred to me whether I was all in for other aspects of my life.

But if you can look back during your rumble and see that you didn’t hold back – that you were all in – you will feel very different than someone who didn’t fully show up. – Brene Brown

Those same questions came to mind because we live in a world where within seconds I can quickly look up 25, 50, 100 other people doing the exact same thing and suddenly my all in looks pretty meagre. A blog post a week? How about the people doing two a day, three a day, or those writing 2,000 words of motivational ideals with great catches and headings, numbered lists, etc. Wow I can get sucked in easily. Maybe this isn’t all in but simply dipping my toe in to the water and then telling everyone I jumped in. So there goes the ego down the path and suddenly I’m in a crappy mood feeling self conscious about this whole idea to begin with. Why bother.

Breathe. Sit with it. Watch those feelings and emotions come and go.  They are there and they are strong but they will fade away just like they always do.  Ahh yes there it is.  All in as defined by me.  One blog post a week. Doing it for myself; a creative outlet. Yes this is what all in looks like.  If I find time to add more then great but regardless of what anyone else is doing that definition must be a cornerstone at the back of my mind.  Something to deal with the self doubt that creeps up and the comparisons I can easily make with others who are much better at this than I and for whom it comes naturally.

When I wrote this question down in my book it was coming from a place of “Hell no, I’m not all in!  I need to be doing more all the time.” It came from a place where the ego was raging full in the back of my mind and doubts were swimming.  Those are good places to be sometimes because it forces us to question ourselves sometimes. To really dig deep and find out where our hearts lie.  I would say that I am all in and if this definition doesn’t match someone else’s than that’s ok.  There won’t be regret when I look back on this because three months ago this didn’t even exist.



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