Do you hear voices? I do! Not the kind that make me crazy but the kind that tell me maybe I haven’t trained enough or I’m not capable or even thin enough. Yuck! I’d never keep a friend who talked to me like that so why do I give these little voices any time or attention??? I think most of us have that self doubt that creeps in and wrestles with us at one moment or another. It’s destructive and harmful to our self-esteem. So I say let’s stand together and stop listening! When you don’t listen the little voices stop.
Here’s a perfect example: This weekend I set out to do a trail run and I had a goal of running the whole darn thing. Through most of the spring/summer I was grappling with an injury that is finally subsiding and now I am working on rebuilding my endurance and cardio strength. That can be tough. Runs I used to easily do right now seem sooo long, hard and discouraging. It takes time and I know this. But the little voices sneak in and tell me I can’t do it, maybe I’ll never feel good again and maybe I should throw in the towel. During my 6.5 mile run this weekend within the first two miles the little voices started … “that’s a big hill- you should walk- you’re not ready for that”. But I didn’t and kept going. Then around three miles “look you are half way there- probably best to rest for a bit – you aren’t ready for this”. Once again I plugged on. Then four miles became five and then six miles and finally my finish line. The second half of the run was better than the first because I stopped listening! My mile splits improved and I felt confident and capable. It wasn’t easy to stop listening and it would have been really easy to stop and thrown in the towel. But the feeling of accomplishment far out-weighed the negative feelings I had along the way.
These little voices creep in not just when we are exercising but when we are feeling less confident. Silencing the voices can lead to accomplishment and more confidence. It’s a choice – give in and give up or keep going. Next time you are faced with your own little voices – ask yourself – is this constructive or destructive? If it’s destructive – stop listening and start succeeding!