I haven’t written much lately, partly a result of being so busy studying and researching ways to improve my own health.
I have been thinking long and hard about what my future might hold, what I want it to hold and how to achieve this. Some of these thoughts have naturally centred around sport and endurance exercise.
I am fortunate to be working with the lovely Kim Ingleby again (http://www.energisedperformance.com), and this is once more helping me find direction and focus in all areas of my life.
I have been struggling with fully committing mentally to my sporting goals and more with not understanding why this might be. Because I am all or nothing, this lack of self awareness hasn’t been easy.
And then slowly I began to realise what was holding me back, preventing me from becoming fully committed in my head. Fear. I am terrified of going back to where I was a year ago. I am scared that pushing my body will no longer bring the desired responses, but will have the opposite effect. Fear can be protective but also a crippling emotion, a primeval protective response that when working well can be helpful and keeps us safe. It has taken me months to try and figure out whether this is False Evidence Appearing Real, or whether it is a justified response. I am at the conclusion that it is a combination of both. Every cell in my body is screaming at me to nurture it, protect it and love it. Because to ignore warning signs again would not be foolish, it would be suicide.
And so when I have been exercising and trying to push just a little bit more, the voice in my head has been whispering softly ‘don’t go there, don’t make me sick again’.
As I have been reviewing many areas of my life, I realise that fear and uncertainty are capable of keeping me in status quo. Trapping me and preventing me finding true happiness. Such fear is obviously self limiting but it is very hard to change something that you have allowed to happen and simply accepted as being the safest option. Change brings uncertainty and when you like order and control, this is not always an easy step to make!
Mindset, i have learnt, is 100% everything. A tiny bit of self doubt will burrow its way deep into your brain, where it will it nag away at you ever so quietly, but loud enough for you take notice. A little bit of confidence and self belief can provide the power to scale mountains that appear so tall that the summit is out of sight. I have been on the receiving end of both fear and self belief.
I have decided that a life living in fear is no life at all. To be trapped by the doubt in my head that does not belong. Because doubt is a two way street, and I have decided to doubt my doubts.
Reckless abandon is something I am also no stranger to, and this is what has been partly fuelling my fear. The knowledge that I am completely capable of ignoring any potential dangers, and deciding that my desire to have something is far greater than the consequences of doing so.
But everything in life brings with it a lesson, a chance to grow and become stronger. Doing things the same way may always bring the same results and I am acutely aware that in order to achieve what I want, to be strong and healthy and to enjoy my life will take a slightly more considered approach.
And so whilst I don’t have all the answers at the moment, I have come to realise that I do have some. I choose not to be bound by my imagination and fear. I choose to listen to the voice that is also whispering : You can.
Today as I raced I listened to both voices in my head. I acknowledged the fear and allowed the self belief to speak just a little bit louder. I focused just a little bit harder, smiled a little bit more and looked past the frightened version of me and I glimpsed a future; one where fear does not belong.