HOW TO DO WHAT YOU DON’T THINK YOU CAN DO
I can sometimes be my own worst enemy. Maybe you are like me. I have self-sabotaged many goals over the years because of overthinking, being too excited or putting too much pressure on myself. I have been working on breaking this habit for years, and this past weekend I have a breakthrough. A major breakthrough. Major.
You see, I’ve been stuck for a while at my 5K running speed. (And before you discount “being stuck” at a running speed, and think that maybe this message isn’t for you because you’re not a “runner,” let me assure you that this applies to any other sphere of your life, not just running, I promise!). I made a decision though that I was ready to be unstuck. I was ready to think differently about how I run. And so I did.
And that changed everything.
A small decision to think differently.
A small decision to think that I could run differently.
A small decision to believe I could have a breakthrough.
And it worked.
For seven years I have been “stuck” at a personal best in my 5K of 19:19. I believed that I could break 19:00 and I had a coach who told me I could too – and so I tried, and tried, and tried and tried; and the more I tried, the harder it felt to go fast and the slower I started to run when I was racing my 5Ks. What did I then do? I stopped racing 5Ks and decided that a 19:19 would be my best time. And then I made excuses to myself about my age, how I was a busy mom and how my running speed had peaked to justify giving up on my goal.
Then, while journaling recently, I realized that I had made the above excuses out of fear and that I had been approaching (and thinking) about my 5K entirely wrong for years. I decided to take ownership of my excuses and to change things, and so I did. I decided to believe that I was a sub-19:00 runner and that I was mentally stronger than I have ever been before, so that I would know how to not put undue pressure on myself. And so, last week, that’s exactly what I set out to do – to go win mentally and break a new barrier for myself. I told myself that my goal was to run faster than 19:19 and that my real goal, the most important goal, was to learn something about myself in the process.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t get nervous before I started my 5K. I did. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hard. It was. But it was different because this time I knew how to think differently. I knew how to channel my inner anxiety and nerves into calm and confident excitement and it changed everything.
Instead of focusing on the pain, I focused on what I was learning.
Instead of focusing on how hard it was, I focused on what I knew I was capable of doing.
Instead of focusing on putting pressure on myself to prove myself, I focused on being my best that day.
I repeated the below to statements to myself, over and over, for 18 minutes and 35 seconds … the amount of time it took me to complete my 5K. I crossed that 3.1-mile mark smiling with joy at 18:35, almost 45-seconds faster than the 19:19 plateau where I had stagnated for so many years. The truth is that I’m not a better runner than I was before, I’m just a better thinker.
Here are the two statements that changed everything for me and helped me breakthrough to a new level of being my personal best:
“Calm and strong.”
“I am not scared to do hard things.”
I’m telling you, if I can do this, you can too. And so to you, I invite you to use my mantras for your own breakthroughs in any goal that you are working through right now. Believe me, they work and you are more mentally strong than you think you are.
If you want more customized, personalized guidance to really push you through to the next level of your life – to break a plateau that has kept you stuck – then email me back and let’s chat about whether or not you are a good candidate for some one-on-one coaching with me. I have one open coaching space that just opened and it is reserved for someone who is motivated and ready to make real change in their pursuit of excellence in life. If that’s you, I can’t wait to connect and help equip you with powerful words that can help you move mountains.
Have the courage to break through whatever has kept you stuck.
Have the courage to be your best self.
Have the courage to think differently.
Have the courage to be open to learning something in the process.
Have the courage to give this a try for yourself!
PS: Did you catch this week’s podcast episode yet? If not, pop your earphones in ASAP because we are celebrating our 5-year anniversary as a podcast community this week with some giveaways, plus I share 70 simple shifts I have made that have skyrocketed my happiness!
Listen now at > www.trishblackwell.com/260