This morning I ran two miles, without a walking break, for the first time in 4.5 years.
It was hard, especially because the route I run has several uphill stretches during the second half.
This is how I did it: I imagined that two of my friends, both serious runners, were running alongside me. When I thought about slowing down to take a walking break, I imagined saying aloud to them, “I need a break.” Then I imagined both of them cheering me on: “You can keep going! Just up this hill. You can walk at the top if you need to.”
Imagining their support was the difference between running two miles straight and stopping to walk several times.
And this made me wonder: How often do I give up before I’ve really put in my all – simply because my brain is a defeated pessimist if left to its own devices?
In other words: what we think makes all the difference in the world.
Our thoughts are the difference between completing the race and giving up before we even start because we’re “not fast enough,” “not athletes,” or “could never do that.” Our thoughts are the difference between starting a side hustle and not even trying because “it’s already been done” or “I tried this before and failed” or “I’m not a business person.” Our thoughts are the difference between making a true lifestyle change in terms of diet or exercise and just implementing the quick fix because we believe thoughts like “I can never pass up cake” or “I need my glass of wine at night to unwind” or “I could never give up sugar.”
So, think of a goal you want to accomplish. It could be something small, like giving up your 3 PM chocolate. Or it could be something big, like writing a novel.
Do you have a friend who is farther ahead of you in this journey? Maybe your brother is a huge health nut. Maybe you have a friend from college who wrote a book. Pick someone who’s positive and upbeat, and imagine them cheering you on every time you take a tiny step toward your goal.
Literally, imagine your friend is standing there next to you when your co-worker offers you a donut and you say, “No thanks, I’m good.” Imagine your friend giving you a high five and saying, “That was great! Keep up the good work.”
This sounds cheesy. And it works.
And if you can’t think of anyone who would cheer you on, think of me. I’m there with pom-poms when you say “no” to that thing you’re dreading, when you write five pages of your novel, when you pass up that cake, and when you lace up your running shoes and get out the door. I’m there in spirit, cheering you on.
If you’ve always wanted to write a novel but never seem to get started – I want to help you. Check out my writing coaching services or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 17, 2017