5 Life Lessons That A Bikini Competition Taught Me

Like many entrepreneurs, I sat down in November to do my annual strategic planning. I definitely didn’t go into it thinking about competing in a bikini competition. In addition to listing out my goals for my business, TriFIT Wellness, part of my process is to also spend some time thinking about my Personal goals, Fun goals and Contribution goals. 

An avid reader, my annual planning is a blend of different strategies from the books “Scaling Up”, “Traction” and “Awaken the Giant Within. (These three books seriously transformed my business and life)

Anyway, as I sat there thinking about what it was that I wanted to accomplish in 2018, in my mind I kept picturing this nagging image of myself up on stage placing in a bikini competition. It seemed so silly and vain to list this as a “goal”, but I think it was meaningful to me because I have been super skinny my entire life (picture Olive Oil from the show Popeye). Honestly, it seemed totally impossible, but I wrote it down anyway.

5 months later, I would be standing on stage in my sparkly bikini accepting the 3rd place trophy. (I’m a total perfectionist, so next time I’m going for 1st place! LOL)

I learned some key lessons from this experience that I believe are very applicable to life. I hope these 5 lessons are impactful to your personal life and business as well.

1. It all starts with VISION.

My husband rolls his eyes at me whenever I talk about this. Love you honey 🙂 Some people prefer to roll with the punches and take life day by day, but not me. I spent most of my entire year in 2017 as a new business owner, confused, scattered and distracted by “shiny things” (aka anything that takes you away from your main priorities). I invested in an entrepreneurial group (Entrepreneurs Organization), as well as a mastermind group (Game Changers Academy) and the very first thing one of my coaches had me do was outline my vision. From the bottom of my heart, Austin Netzley, thank you! 

Hello glutes!

12 Weeks of hard work

Vision is your roadmap. It is your guide to make sure you are designing the life you want. For me, its easier to start with the end in mind and work backwards. Where do you want to be 10 years from now? Start there….Then 5, then 3, then 1, then quarterly. Once you have quarterly goals you can create action week by week toward achieving your goals.

Working on vision includes 4 key areas:
  1. Professional goals – Your business revenue, growth, find a new  job, etc.
  2. Personal goals – Lose weight, read 1 book a month, compete in a bikini competition
  3. Fun goals – New car, trip to Thailand, etc.
  4. Contribution – Serve at a homeless shelter, take elderly parents out once per week

Once I have my main goals for the year, I attach a timeline to achieve them. I listed my bikini completion as my personal goal for the 1st quarter of the year. Once I had a date, I immediately began taking action. I hired a nutrition coach (Karey Northington is the pro for bikini prep nutrition), I hired a personal trainer (Lizzie Ens at TriFIT Wellness is solely responsible for giving me a booty!) I booked my spray tan, makeup, and rented a competition suit (Amanda Louise Swimwear). 


2. Figure out what you really want. 

At TriFIT Wellness, we work with our clients on this All. The. Time. It’s very common that people want the RESULT, but don’t want to put in the WORK to achieve it. 

      1. I want a hot body and six pack abs…..but I’m not willing to give up drinking 2 glasses of wine every night (I’m guilty of this so don’t feel bad)
      2. I want to be financially successful……but I spend 2 hours watching mindless television every night instead of working on my personal development. 
      3. I want a happy relationship…..but I cheat on my partner and work 60+ hours per week.

Do you see the pattern? Look at your own life and see what your patterns are. Are you saying you want a particular thing, but your actions are not in alignment? I’m not judging you…..seriously, I did this for YEARS. Mainly wine. I would come home and drink wine with dinner pretty much every night. It was my coping mechanism for a super stressful job. 

It wasn’t until I took responsibility for this behavior, and decided what I truly wanted that I was able to achieve my goal. You can’t have your cake and eat it too (pun intended). 

Hello glutes

3. Your habits will make or break you. 

When you do something repetitively, we all know this develop habits. Habits can be positive or negative. Going back to the wine reference again (sorry)…..I developed the HABIT of drinking wine every night, and it was literally torture giving that up for about 2 whole weeks. 

Your vision and “why” is the only thing that gets you past destructive habits. Discipline is NOT enough. 

I knew what I wanted to accomplish, and wine was simply not an option. After about 6 weeks without it, I didn’t even crave it anymore. Weird right? 

Look at what you do DAILY, and see if those habits are serving you or hurting you.

4. Pay attention to your self talk

Did you know you are always talking to yourself? Have you paid attention to what that “monkey

rockin' that bikini

mind” is telling you? Whats interesting is that our default brain setting is usually negative, because when we step out of our comfort zone it triggers our “fight or flight” mechanism. This is intended to keep us safe when their is perceived danger (aka a tiger is chasing you it’s your cue to run….duh). 

The problem is that our fear can really fuck with our heads too. Personally, I constantly have this nagging little voice in my head that tries to knock me down. The most common scripts I tell myself are…..

  • “Who do you think you are? You’ll never be able to do that”
  • “What if you fail? You’re going to embarrass yourself”. 
  • My personal favorite is, “What will everyone think of you….?” (Insert all kinds of paranoid delusions that people may or may not believe about me).

What I realized? 

People don’t give a shit about me. Or you. (sorry, not sorry)

We all have our own issues and struggles, and most people are too worried about their own shit to care all that much about what you are doing. Just live authentically and learn to turn off all of the negative scripts going on in your head. 

If people hate on you….well, as Taylor Swift would say, “I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake….shake it off…shake it off!” 

5. Love yourself. 

There will always be someone smarter…. prettier…..richer…..(insert any other insecurity) than you. Just accept that fact right now. 

When I was prepping for the competition, I would often spend 30 minutes mindlessly scrolling instagram looking at other athletes bodies, comparing myself, worrying if I would be able to transform my body in time for the show, worrying I would look like an idiot on stage because I didn’t look like THEM. 

My body type is tall and thin. I will never, EVER have curves like J Lo. Just ain’t going to happen. But, can I appreciate my lean physique…absolutely! Can I go on stage and rock my skinny ass with all the confidence in the world? Hell to the yea! 

You get the point. 

Just be you and work on being the best you can be. Easier said than done, right? What has been helpful for me, is to periodically look back on how far I’ve come in different areas of my life. I’ll read through old journals and see what I was dealing with at the time, and what my goals were. Usually I’ve accomplished 9 out of 10 of the things I said I would do. Not bad, eh? Or I’ll look at an old photo and see how much more defined my shoulders are today than 3 years ago. Celebrate those little “wins” and stop being so damn hard on yourself. Learn to laugh and embrace your imperfections. 

Don’t take yourself so seriously.

So what is the point?

At the end of the whole bikini competition thing….my main takeaway is that life is fucking short. Stop being afraid and start doing. I watched an awesome video the other day by Gary Vaynerchuk where he recommends visiting a retirement home, and spending some time talking with the elderly. Do you want to be 80 living with regret? I sure don’t. 

So quit the job you hate. Leave the shitty relationship. Get up on stage and prance around in a bikini. Whatever floats your boat, but DO IT.