"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... It's a duck."
As my husband and I were discussing a meeting he'd had earlier in the day, he shared with me a story that his trainer had told him. While in his early days of bodybuilding, he was trying to find his footing in the lifestyle. He did everything he was supposed to. He hit the gym religiously. He lifted and he lifted heavy. He timed and ate his meals like clockwork. He worked day after day trying to "become" a bodybuilder. One day he asked his mentor what he needed to do to in fact be a body builder. To paraphrase, his mentor replied, "If you eat like a bodybuilder and train like a body builder... then you're a bodybuilder."
Wait. Read that again,
"If you eat like a bodybuilder and train like a body builder... then you're a bodybuilder."
Isn't it funny how we put others on such a high pedestal but don't offer the same rewards or sense of achievement when we ourselves do the exact same thing? He was doing everything he was supposed to, going above and beyond the call of duty but he still didn't see himself as a bodybuilder. How often do we do the same thing in our own lives? How often do we push toward and even reach a goal but still don't consider ourselves to be "that person"? We often mistake our "level" with our "identity". While he may not have been on the same level as his mentor, he was definitely on the same playing field. Experience, popularity, and size do not determine what you're doing. They determine the level in which you're doing it. Don't mistake where you are for what you are.