Whatever your goals are, you want to be successful. But what is it that keeps you from completing your goals, your desires?
It could be the negative voices that you hear. It could be coming from yourself or others. You know the voices? “I might fail, what if I’m not good enough? I’ll never make it, I don’t have the time, I’m too old, not pretty enough, strong enough, good enough.”
Sometimes these negative voices turn into images of what can go wrong and this only builds to the fire because now you are seeing yourself fail.
How can you get push these negative voices away and move past them to success? What if you learned to replace these negative voices with positive ones? What if you learned to say yes? How do you do this?
This is what I want to talk about, through advice, quotes and stories.
“If you think you can or you think you can’t, your right!”
I think one of the most important things that you can do in learning to get rid of those negative voices is to practice saying yes to opportunities that arise and make the early decision to stick with it no matter what.
At the age of 12, Jason Lester was hit by a car, broke 20 bones and paralyzed his right arm. He didn’t let this stop him. He competed in an Ironman competition in 2004 and since has competed in a numerous of other extreme events. In 2008 he became the first disabled athlete to compete in Ultraman. (320 miles of biking, swimming and running) In 2009, he won the ESPY Award for “Best Disabled Male Athlete. He did not listen to negative voices.
“Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead.”- Roger Bannister (After becoming the first person to break the four-minute mile in 1952)
I think it is important to practice positive self talk. Don’t let the negative voices sink in. Practice immediately replacing them with positive self talk. Put sticky notes all over your house, notes of victory. “You can do this, you look great, you will achieve”
Never stop. Keep going, keep trying, keep training, and never give into defeat. Even if you’re telling yourself you won’t be good enough, at least you tried! Isn’t that better than quitting? And, you may just surprise yourself with how successful you really are.
When I trained for my first marathon in 2005, I almost quit about 2 months before the race. I even took a walk of shame home. I just thought that there was no way I could achieve it. "I thought this is too hard!", "I'm always icing something!" I took about 2 weeks off. My desire to run in the marathon eventually took over. I started having second thoughts and got back into it. I ran my heart out on marathon day. It became one of my greatest physical achievements and it changed my life forever. I’m glad that I didn’t give in to my negativity and pitty party.
“I've always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn't have a chance to win.” - Arnold Palmer
Visualize victory. With 4 marathons, 6 50K’s (31 miles) under my belt, I’ve become very good at visualizing success. I picture myself succeeding, I see myself driving home with my finisher medal. Even when negative self talk tries to sneak in, I just laugh at it and say “whatever, I will be successful!” I am training for my first 50 mile run. I am nervous about being fast enough. On race day, I will run my heart out and will do my best. I could easily have not entered the race thinking “the race doesn’t give me enough time, I don’t know if I can finish running 50 miles in 11 hours!” Well I am still going to give it a try. Even if I don’t make the cut off, I will run in those 11 hours more miles than I have ever ran in my life and that is definitely something to be proud of. And who knows, I may just walk away with that finisher's belt buckle, which I am visualizing.
”If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it's up to you.” - Dave Scott
Follow your heart. What are you passionate about? What are your dreams and desires? What constantly keeps you awake at night? What makes you excited? Write down your goals, dreams and desires down on paper and think of ways you can achieve these goals. Even if you can only think of one reason, that’s better than nothing. Place these goals where you can see them and visualize yourself achieving your goal. Draw pictures of your success and write down how you are going to feel when you said yes to your goal, when you go for it, and try. Running has been my passion since 2005. I have had the goal to run 50 miles for many years. I signed up for my first 50 when my passion for it became so great, when I saw myself entering the event and visualizing myself successful. Signing up for it felt very good. It’s scheduled for Oct. 30th 2010 and I’m excited about it and I will be successful. I have another goal, I want to run in The Western States 100 mile endurance run. I may not be quite ready physically now, but I am mentally preparing myself.
We all have people who may doubt and laugh at our goals and dreams. They may or may not realize what they are doing, that they are ultimately causing harm. I call these people “dream stealers” Being around them doesn’t make you feel good. They may be family members or acquaintances. I think it is important to set up boundaries with them. Do not allow them to talk negatively around you. I realize family members can’t always be avoided, but you can try and spend more time with people who share a similar goal, who support you and want you to achieve.
I think Facebook is great. I have at least 5 pages of “athlete friends”. Besides my husband and children, they are my greatest supporters. They understand what I am going through with my training, they know what it is like to participate in an extreme sport, and they know the pain and victory that comes with running 26.2, 31, 50 or even 100 miles. They are fantastic cheerleaders. For me, Facebook is a lot of fun. It’s filled with non stop conversations of running and support.
Never give up, keep pushing, and focus on the victory not the road blocks. You can do this!!!
“Let go of your fears, let go of your negative thoughts, let go of the things that are stopping you from achieving and manifesting abundance. If you do so, then you will notice a huge difference in your life.”
(The photo above is a professional photo taken of me at my first marathon in 2005. I bought it because it is a reminder of not only how painful that marathon was for me, it also reminds me that I almost chose to quit. I am extremely grateful because I did not quit. I have come so far with my running achievements. I am glad that I chose yes!)