Gabrielle Reece – Define Your Own Success

What does “success” mean to you?

Often, we let the world define what “success” should look like. But what is it really? Is it wealth or acclaim or having a good family? Rather than let society define what our life should look like to be successful, maybe we should take a look internally and decide for ourselves what success is.  

My guest today, Gabrielle Reece, knows a thing or two about immense success. Although she’s lived a conventionally successful life in her athletic career, Gabrielle stresses the importance of defining your own success to find fulfillment in your life. 

So, again, what does success look like in your life? We’re all on our own path, so we’ve got to define what success means to us and push ourselves to obtain that success and #MAXOUT our lives. 

Gabrielle and I had an excellent conversation about getting to your own definition of success by living in the moment, engaging in self-care, and holding yourself accountable on your journey to achieve what you want. This episode has a ton of helpful information for your journey to personal success and MAXING OUT, so you’re not going to want to miss it!

Who Is Gabrielle Reece?

Gabrielle Reece is an athlete, author, entrepreneur, model, and podcast host. She started her career in volleyball, where she won first place in the first-ever Beach Volleyball World Championships in 1997. She also received the Offensive Player of Year in 1994-1995 in the Women’s Beach Volleyball League. Along with her immense athletic success, she was the first female athlete to design a shoe for Nike and was Nike’s first female cross-training spokesperson. 

Her modeling work extends from Sports Illustrated for Women to Travel & Leisure Gold along with several other notable publications. She was also featured in Women’s Sports and Fitness as one of the “20 Most Influential Women in Sports.” 

In recent years, she’s worked as an entrepreneur, founding the successful fitness program HIGHX and co-founding the program XPT along with her husband, Laid Hamilton. 

In 2013, she wrote My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to the Less Than Perfect Life in which she discusses her career and family life. 

Gabrielle also hosts the podcast The Gabby Reece Show, where she interviews a variety of notable celebrities and achievers. 

To sum it up, Gabrielle Reece is a winner. She’s living her definition of success in every area of her life, from business to family to health. Our conversation will inspire you to pursue YOUR definition of success and #MAX OUT every area of your life, so let’s get into it! 

Being Flexible and Living in the Moment

Gabrielle and I discussed success in parenting. Many of the lessons for being a good parent also extend to how we should live in general. For example, Gabrielle and I have both had to learn the importance of growth and flexibility:

“I think a good parent … is willing to grow and change. … If I’m really going to … have a chance at any glimmer of wisdom, I have to be pliable. I have to be able to take constructive criticism. And I also have to let everybody kind of really be who they are.” – Gabrielle Reece 

It’s essential that both in parenting and in our own lives, we’re able to adapt to the changes occurring around us and not remain rigid. When it comes to parenting, you can raise your kids the way you think it best, but you can’t control who they are going to become. We don’t need to have that pressure of trying to control that. We can only control our own actions and accept the things that occur outside of our control — including who our kids become. 

We continued discussing flexibility as it applies to Gabrielle and her husband’s somewhat atypical marriage. Gabrielle is married to Laird Hamilton, who is a famous and iconic surfer. Rather than be completely rigid in the idea of strict marital longevity, Gabrielle lives with the mindset that she can only work on today rather than predict their relationship in the years to come:

“I’ve chosen a partner who needs that sense of feeling of like, “I am free,”… It’s wanting that sense of freedom. And this is what I say about the marriage: I’m going to wake up every day, and I will do my best and work for that day. And beyond that … I don’t know what else to do.” – Gabrielle Reece

I love Gabrielle’s outlook. She focuses on today instead of trying to predict the future, and I think that’s a mindset we should all strive for. We have to make daily decisions to get where we want to be in the different areas of our lives. Gabrielle still has to make daily choices to train and make good nutritional decisions even though she’s been training for over thirty years. We can’t predict the future, so we need to focus on doing our best right now and adapt when we need to.

Don’t Let the World Define Your Success

Gabrielle stressed the importance of defining what success looks like to you rather than what the world says:

“And for some people, it’s like, ‘Oh, I need more zeros or I need more attention.’ I only need so many zeros. … I’ll share something Laird said to me the other day that I thought was really important … [He said,] ‘I need to be really clear about what’s going to make me happy and what my definition of success is not what the world has told me.’ And, quite frankly, there are days in parenting where I’m like, ‘Okay, all my daughters are alive and overall doing pretty good,’… Like sometimes it feels so crazy that success today is [that] they’re alive.” – Gabrielle Reece

Success doesn’t need to be about money or fame or anything else that the world promotes. Success can be doing your best for your children or actively engaging in self-care or anything else that you find important. You need to seek fulfillment and happiness more than conventional success. 

Money itself can actually be a hindrance to our happiness if you’re not careful. You need to learn to balance the different parts of your life rather than just focus on monetary wealth:

“And so how do you reach for the stars? Say, ‘I want to create as much wealth.’ And what I mean is in the word of ‘wealth’ [is] healthiness, relationships, maybe actual wealth, but not actually have it destroy me because most people … don’t realize [money] could destroy their relationships [or] their health.” – Gabrielle Reece

You need to find a balance between financial wealth and relational wealth. If you only focus on making money without investing in your family, you might achieve immense financial wealth, but you won’t have a good relationship with your family. Investing time in your kids and other loved ones in your life is investing in your long term happiness. Success is happiness and fulfillment — not just money. 

Focusing on Self-Care

A crucial part of your success is taking the time to practice self-care. Gabrielle stressed that an essential component of self-care is finding a neutral composure and addressing whatever is disrupting our calmness: 

“I will say this: homeostasis, finding the middle. I am very sensitive to when I’m getting off. So what I do that helps me and also lets my stress impact me less … I’ll give you an example. If I really am reacting strongly to something, like an overreaction, let’s say, I’m like, ‘Oh, you’re out of whack. Like you’re off your homeostasis.’ Right? So if I could just encourage people really just self-awareness like, ‘Why are you flipping out? … So it means something’s off.” – Gabrielle Reece

You can use self-awareness to overcome your stress and negativity. Things in your life that may unsettle you or scare you might come out in different ways, so it’s essential to address the underlying issues when you fail you to remain calm. Gabrielle feels anger when something unsettles her, but it might manifest differently in your life. It might come in the form of anxiety or inaction or other ways.  

Gabrielle recommends an incredibly helpful breathing exercise for us to get back to homeostasis:

“If people could nose breathe … I always say to people, ‘Try to breathe deep into your belly.’ ‘Cause if we’re only breathing into our chest, which most of us are, we’re ramping up … we’re in our sympathetic [nervous system], we’re in our fight or flight. Even just through the day, you breathe into your belly.” – Gabrielle Reece

Making a conscious effort to engage in breathing work is a great way to calm your fears and return yourself to a calm composure. Guys, it really is important to try breathing work if you haven’t already. It will calm that fight or flight mode that can prohibit you from MAXING OUT your day. How often have you let your emotions affect the way you handle something in the moment? Did you regret it after? Breathing work can help you manage those emotions in a healthy way so that you can make better decisions in the moment. 

Gabrielle also described how she cares for herself by eating well, avoiding alcohol, sleeping early, and exercising. She explained how her healthy habits are a way to be the best version of herself: 

“The reason I exercise and eat well is so I have half a shot at being like a somewhat sane human being. … My moods are better. My energy’s better ‘cause I eat better. But at the end of the day, I’m actually just trying to figure out all the tools available to me to help me just be a more productive, better, kinder, better-responding, human being.” – Gabrielle Reece

If you invest the time to take care of your emotional and physical health, it will positively impact the other areas of your life so that you can be the best YOU! 

Finding Purpose and Fulfillment

It’s easy for people to get hung up on trying to #MAX OUT their happiness. It makes sense. Who doesn’t want to be happy? But I asked Gabrielle how she thinks people should go about becoming happier, and she had an incredibly thought-provoking answer that may surprise you:

“Maybe happiness shouldn’t be the goal. I think a sense of peace or a sense of purpose and fulfillment .. might … not only be easier but also maybe more realistic. I think happiness kind of rolls in and out.” – Gabrielle Reece

Rather than focusing on how to be happy, you can focus on reaching that sense of purpose and fulfillment. You can pursue the purpose that’s inside of you and bring it to the surface.

“I think it would be asking this person, ‘Is your exterior life a reflection of who you feel that you are inside? Are you getting to express this person inside into your outside life?’ Whether it’s the relationships you have, the work that you’re doing, just the ways that you get to express yourself, and people have the answer inside.” – Gabrielle Reece 

Is your external life reflecting the person you are? Are you able to express yourself in your career or your relationships? Guys, you must live your life as the person that you are on the inside. You need to be your unique self in what you do. If you have an artist or an entrepreneur inside, you’re not going to reach that sense of peace and fulfillment if you’re not doing that kind of work. 

Gabrielle stressed personal accountability when it comes to following your dreams: 

“We can always blame everybody for everything. … I always say, play the ACEs. So like, look at your deck. What high cards do you have? And also what ways could you sort of do it better? And if you’ve got habits that are not serving you in this peace or happiness, why are they there? … Why do we have them, and how can we slowly start to get them out?” – Gabrielle Reece

Don’t blame the world for where you are in your life so far. Play the hand that life gave you and turn it into something incredible. Be self-aware and recognize what patterns you have that are holding you back from living your unique purpose. 

#MAXOUT with Gabrielle Reece

I can’t stress enough how much you’ll benefit from listening to this episode RIGHT NOW. I was so blessed to have Gabrielle on the show, and her perspectives on success, family, fitness, and fulfillment will change your life. 

If you want to learn more from Gabrielle Reece, check out her book My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to the Less Than Perfect Life and listen to her podcast The Gabby Reece Show. You can also keep up with her on Instagram (@gabbyreece) and Twitter (@GabbyReece). 

If you enjoyed this episode and think it will benefit your social media followers, share it on Instagram! Use the hashtag #MAXOUT to share with me your biggest takeaways from Gabrielle Reece in the comments below! I read your comments weekly, and a few select winners get all sorts of prizes from gear to coaching calls with me!

Don’t let the world define your success! Find your unique purpose, and never stop pursuing it! MAXOUT who you are and find fulfillment in your life!

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