Do you remember how as a child you just did things without worrying about whether you could or what might go wrong? No panic about looking silly or being outside your comfort zone. Now fast forward to the future. I see so many people losing confidence as they grow older and worrying about things that they would have done without thinking a few years earlier. Most of us are somewhere between the two. Read on to see how challenging yourself can be a positive step and how to get started.
Finding your mantra
For much of our lives we are defined by the jobs that we do, our family commitments and our priorities. Think about what happens at key stages like retirement or when the children go to school or later leave home, or being made redundant. We tend to lose our direction and focus and with it a degree of confidence. Everything feels different, unfamiliar and out of control.
Change shouldn’t be all about negatives. Change can be an opportunity to do things differently and to reinvent ourselves. I know that I started to feel human again once the girls started sleeping through the night and ever since have reclaimed my identity in stages. I have done lots of things that I never imagined would be possible – many involving trainers, bikes, water and lycra. I have changed career, completed qualifications and set up my business which is now in its 5th year and growing year on year. I set up home for myself and the girls and am now married to the most amazing, kind, loving and supportive man. None of these things would have been possible without being a little fearless, brave and full of determination.
I had an email last week that really struck a chord with me. It was from a client who has completely transformed herself over the last few years. She does everything her way with lots and lots of questions but her quiet confidence is inspiring. Having completed an amazing goal last year she is about to take on a new challenge which is a further stretch and looming large! The email came at a low where she was full of self doubt and questioning whether this was too big a step up.
In that negative chat I heard my own voice and saw how I have sounded at times to Ingolf over the years always questioning my own abilities. It is always possible to do things and to challenge yourself if you really commit to it. If you prepare and put in the time then you will achieve some amazing goals. If you don’t try or always bottle it then you will never know what you are capable of. It might be scary and unsettling but it will be worth it for that feeling when it has all come together and you smashed it. Some self doubt is natural but you need to challenge yourself in order to grow and develop. A little bit of fear is healthy and stepping outside your comfort zone is a positive thing to do. My reply by email said exactly that. You have to believe that you can do it and go for it!
We all need a support team and a mantra to keep us going when it gets tough. Mine is ‘I am fit. I am strong. I can do this’. By the end of a long run it is ‘fit.strong.’ through gritted teeth! It sounds daft but try it – it quietens the negative self talk that stops you in your tracks.