So you have a big scary goal. What now?
So you have a big scary goal? Great.
You've set yourself a big humongous challenge Be it sporting, academic or in business. Something bigger than you have ever achieved before.
Everyone in your family thinks you have lost the plot. The label "crazy" is referenced in conversations with friends. The curious blank looks, that assumption that you may be going through some mid life crisis are all reactions you may experience from others.
You tell yourself; "Yeah I can do this. I want to do this. I will do this!" Then one day in the wee small hours as you are lying awake staring at the ceiling, your thoughts racing; "What was I thinking? I can't do this!"
You oscillate between "Yes I can!" - Being excited and on track, focussed and yes confident, on the odd day you are even cocky but then reality hits and you have days of doubt and anxiety and after a bad run or two or even an injury, you start to despair.
Is this normal?
Hell yes! Not once have I ever gone into a race thinking "I got this one in the bag. No worries. Piece of cake!". Woe betide anyone who is confidently cocky at the start of a race.
I am a great believer in "Just sign up and work it out on the way". You never know ahead of time how you are going to do it, you just get excited about the goal and launch yourself into it full of motivation.
I am also a true believer in the saying "fake it til you make it!" Never have I arrived at a race feeling like I have done enough. Life, work, injuries, sickness or a lack of ability have gotten in the way and more often than not I have felt sick or had injury niggles in the days leading up to the major race. It's your body and your mind conspiring against you to make you doubt, to make you pull out, to make you give up. It doesn't trust you so it tries to stop you.
Don't. Not unless you have a real verified reason - like a broken leg.
If its just the Fear monster, or his cousin Anxiety, then don't let them stop you. You will be surprised what you can pull out on the big day, that you could never do in regular training. There is something magical that happens when you put on that race number and line up. You will find reserves and strength you never knew existed if you are just brave enough to stand up.
You have to "man up" or "woman up", feel that damn fear and do it anyway. Every huge achievement requires not only discipline, persistence, preparation and planning, fortitude and flexibility - but it often requires 'Big Kahunas'. When all the doubting, disaster voices are screaming in your ear - try and find that quiet wee inner voice that got you hooked in the first place. That deep, quiet, confident, self believing, strong willed little voice inside that reckons "Yeah I can do this - and I am going to."
Sometimes its just a whisper but it will be there. Listen for it closely.
Meditate on your motivations that got you going in the first place. "Why are you doing this? What will you achieve? Who will benefit from you doing this?" The answer will probably be yourself, your health, your mental wellbeing, your confidence, perhaps your children who look up to you as an example or your friends and loved ones that you want to show.
It is there you will find your reasons to fight, your reasons to overcome the fear, the doubting screaming voices. It is there you also find strength in the middle of the battle to carry on, to overcome the obstacles in your path - to reach the finish line and achieve your dream.
It will be worth it. Take that first step and the others will follow.
When you think you are struggling alone - know that there are others in our coaching group or in your circles who are probably facing the same problems. I encourage you to share them on this platform, half them, discuss them amongst yourselves and encourage each other to reach into the unknown.
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