I learned a little something about myself this month. I was hired to create workout program with a partner and one of the requirements of being a part of this collaboration was that I had to run 3 miles under 25 minutes and had only 2 weeks to train for it. It may not sound like that big of a goal, but I haven’t gone running in about 10 years so I was nervous. All of these crazy thoughts went through my head like: I can’t do it, I will hurt myself, and it’s going to be too hard. I was really nervous about even going for my first run. I was noticing how absurd — but real– the feeling of fear was. I really wanted to find any reason at all not to do it. I even started thinking, “I don’t want this job anyway.”
So I decided to ask myself this question, “If you were not afraid of doing the run, getting hurt or being rejected, what would you do?” My answer was, I’d train. Do whatever I could do in two weeks to get there. So I made a plan to tell my friends what I was training for. One of my friends, who’s a private trainer and a runner mapped out a plan for me to follow. My job was to get myself to do it. The voice that was so loudly trying to talk me out of getting out of my comfort zone would have won if I had not been practicing being aware of negative voices. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t worried about failing but I got myself into action.
My suggestion is, set goals that will inspire you and have you reach past your comfort zone. Give yourself a goal that makes you a little nervous. Run 3 miles in 25 or less, 48 sit ups in less than 1 minute, 3 pull ups, 10 pushups, jumping rope for 10 minutes. Try doing it with a friend or a group of friends and give yourself a deadline. You will not only increase your level of fitness but you will also increase your awareness of your inner voice that is making excuses for why you shouldn’t do it.
Listen for your sarcastic voice that says “What a dumb idea.”
Your coward voice that says “I could never do that.”
Your negative voice that says “I will hurt myself if I work out too hard.”
Remember, it is not about the exercises, it is about you getting to know yourself and how you may be afraid of change, growth, intimacy, or greatness. If you weren’t afraid, what choice would you make?
And Yes I did run my 3 miles under 25 minutes. Whew!