The brain works like a computer circuit board. If you are accustomed to processing negative thoughts, you become adept at running negative behavioral programs, then manifesting negative outcomes.
Case in point, when I was kid, I wasn’t regarded as a natural athlete. To avoid risking ridicule, I did everything at my leisure. I crafted dozens and dozens of reasons, a.k.a. excuses, why I hated exercise. It’s difficult to ridiculed by your critics if you don’t try. Therefore, I sharpened my tongue and weakened my body.
When I hit the wall, I luckily didn’t weigh 250lbs. but I was too fat and unfit for my own happiness. I finally understood the impact of a life of excuses and it looked like low self-esteem and an inability to fit into my clothes. I couldn’t look at myself in a mirror without negative judgment. It was time to let go and bust out of my comfort zone.
The truth about comfort zones is it thwarts your growth.
How did I do it?
Step One: Get Real.
Ask yourself for yourself, “What am I made of? What do I stand for? Do my actions match my beliefs?”
Keep asking until you come up with the answer. There should be evidence to support it. Success and failure always leave a trail.
Step Two: Get in the Game by following your A,B,C’s.
If you are not fighting for your own growth and development than you are stagnating. It is this simple, grow or die. You must be your own champion.
a- Do you have goals? If not, make some NOW.
Winning the lottery or looking like a movie star’s twin is not a goal. You need a real goal. The criteria is that anyone can see, feel, taste and/or touch what you are shooting for. In short, steer free of imagination. It must be visceral or why bother. Your goals will mold you into the person you want to be.
b- Discover what excuses you use to derail yourself.
Your excuses close the door to opportunity. Write down your excuses and when you hear yourself using them, slow down. Don’t make knee jerk decisions. A slow yes beats a fast no.
c- Let go and make better mistakes.
Are your excuses, if you are holding on to any, worth fighting for? If so, what is the price you are paying to keep them?
Step Three: Have a plan.
If you were going on a road trip, you would bring a map, right? You would make a list of supplies, right? Changing your Life is no different. You need a clear action plan. Going to the gym is not a plan. Enlisting a friend to exercise with you is not a plan. These are fixes.
Define what it is that you want. What are the steps that must be taken to achieve this? Work backwards, it is easier.
For Example: In two years, I will have run the NYC marathon. Start with that future race date and go back every three to six months and define what you did to be ready. End with today. You now have a beginner’s plan.
Step Four: When God laughs at your Plans… Laugh too than Work the Plan.
If you set a goal stay on the road you are walking. Naysayers are to be expected. Move forward undaunted. Steer clear of the comfort zone.
Temptations and road blocks will always occur. Assuming you understand your endgame, accept each obstacle as an opportunity to grow. The bottom line is you are the boss of you.
In training for the New Jersey Marathon, it was one of the worst winters on record. Virtually every other week there was a snow storm or arctic blast to contend with. I still ran despite it all. I invested in cold weather gear and my experience was life changing. I got to know an Erwin, I had never known before.
We all choose the areas of Life we are willing to suffer, tolerate, fight for or compete at. You will be successful at nothing putting your health last. I am living a Life that so many people didn’t see possible for me. I almost allowed it not to happen too.
I usually post these types of entries on The Perspiration Journal but this one has an athletic context. Being bigger than your obstacles will make you a better athlete and a stronger person.
The big picture is a jigsaw puzzle and we put it together piece by integrated piece.