October 12, 2017 12:41 pm

Jill’s House: ‘Put the guilty sticks down’ focus on the positive within yourself

Jill Officer curls in the world championships gold-medal game in Sapporo, Japan.

Shizuo Kambayashi / The Associated Press / File
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Canadian Olympic gold medallist and Winnipeg mom Jill Officer gives us a twice-monthly look behind the scenes of her dual life in her blog, Jill’s House.

As an athlete, we can spend a lot of time looking at the pile of crap that we need to be better at in our sport, the stuff that isn’t going so well or needs to be strengthened and then we make a plan to get better in those areas.

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It is a part of our path to success, but we spend so much time looking at that pile of crap, that I sometimes think we forget to look at the other pile – that garden of beautiful pieces of joy and those already existing strengths that contribute to our achievements.

For a long time now, I have been someone who is proud of how honest I am with myself, how self-aware I am and how I seldom lie to myself about the thoughts in my head and the feelings in my heart. But I’ve also been realizing more that I spend a little too much time looking at my pile of crap, both in and out of sport. I am constantly trying to get better at those things in that pile.

But I need to sit in the beautiful garden that is me. That garden where I see how compassionate, loving, kind, empathetic, accepting, smart and downright beautiful I am! Inside and out!

This is merely based on my own personal observations, but I think us females and moms can be quite hard on ourselves compared to our male counterparts. We think about that pile of crap and what we’re doing wrong, or poor choices we’ve made in how we parent, or how we conduct ourselves, or what we said to this person or that person. We judge ourselves, we use those guilty sticks to beat ourselves up and then we either ignore the pile because it feels bad or, like me, we spend too much time trying to clean it up!

It’s exhausting! It was exhausting just writing that paragraph!

So, I am here to share my reflections with you, to tell you that you are much more than that pile of crap.  You are a gem, you are beautiful, you are strong and you are smart.

I am also here to be completely honest and say that I don’t want you to sweep that pile of crap under the carpet. It is important to pay attention to those things you could be better at, or those bad habits you need to break, but put the guilty sticks down and just make a plan for those things to change.

Sounds easy, right?

I know. I know. It’s totally not. I agree. Change is hard. And changing the pattern of thoughts you’ve had for decades is even harder! I know that doing it is what will make us more confident and stronger, but it is not always that simple.

In the end, my point is to always be self-aware and self-reflect on how you can grow and change for the better, but let’s remind ourselves every day to spend a little more time in our garden!

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