Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's all mental

Last year, I was running in my first 10K - the Calgary Women's Run.

I was thrilled to find that, on this particular day, I was running harder & faster than I had in some time.  Part of it was that I was running with a friend who runs faster than me, and I just focused on keeping pace with her - didn't have to think about anything but keeping up.  As well, I was prepared - ate a good breakfast, rested the day before, and had trained and prepped to go the distance.

Somewhere around the 6K mark, it occurred to me that so much of running is mental.  Your body can handle a lot, but so often the brain makes you slow down.

How many situations is this true in?  How much of what we experience and are challenged with can be won or lost mentally?  And in those situations, how much stronger would we be if we simply recognized this truth and used it to our advantage?

The truth is that your body, physically, can handle a lot.  You can run as fast and jump as high as you can possibly imagine.  Similarly, your brain can do more than you know.  You can think through more complexities and solve greater problems than you ever have before.  Yet, you have to believe you can.  You have to allow yourself to do it, push yourself to do it, and trust and know that it is possible.

So often, we stop before a goal is reached, or before we've accomplished all we could.  In most cases, this isn't because the dreamed-of goal is un-reachable; it's because our negative self-talk and debilitating perception drags us down, stalling progress and eliminating any chance of achievement or success.

This isn't to say that you can achieve anything if you simply believe - if that were true, I'd be able to fly.  But, perhaps if you believe, and talk to yourself as if you do, you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

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