When was the last time you were so proud of yourself you raised your arms in glee? How about literally patting yourself on the back or jumping in the air with joy? Spontaneously high 5’ing someone from a big jolt of endorphins through your body? Was it a month ago, year ago, decades, never?
Every once in a while we read or hear about someone doing something that leaves us awestruck. Some crazy human accomplishing some crazy feat often made even crazier in some badass location or conditions. We ooze admiration, proudly talk about how ridiculous they are, seek them out on social media to follow and maybe even support them (I’ve included some I’m currently following at the end). We know it’s not an easy feat but that fact makes it even more an accomplishment. How often do we give that sense of accomplishment life within ourselves? All too often our subconscious takes over, mind dismisses the potential before it even hits the core of our brain. Then, as the faint light of a possibility is trying to take form, we utter the Most Negative Word in the World .
Why? I hear it all the time from people who should know better then to speak such smack around me (you know who you are!). I regularly even hear it with great verbal drama and, when I ask if they would ever consider doing something similar, I get the ‘oh, here she goes’ look. I even get this look from people who don’t know me, once they start learning the things I’ve done in my 50’s, they’re tuning out the possibility of my words. It fascinates and disappoints me all at the same time. Resetting impossible should be everyone’s normal! I love watching the change take form in others. The glimmer of ‘why not?!’. Sometimes I’ve been able to watch the glimmer flicker as we’re talking. I’ve become quite aware that it’s often the small things that stick with someone and make them dig deeper. Sometimes it’s helping them break the process down, “make one small change every single day toward your goal” and, other times, some secretly get to business then announce their adventure. Both make my heart sing.
This weekend I was at a party with my Adventure Buddy. I didn’t know anyone but him and clearly he’d been boring them with my training and adventure escapades. He’d introduce me and, much to my amazement, their eyes would widen and they’d exclaim, “the mountain climber!”. I felt awkwardly celebrity. Yes, I climb mountains, but the exuberance of their reaction seemed to step me a notch or 2 up from the regular person climbing mountains realm. As the evening went on, I realized the fascination was that I WAS a regular person stretching myself to do something uncommon. I wasn’t a pro, I wasn’t an athlete, I was just a normal person who dug myself out of a contented hole with a big goal and found my passion. I was a real story they could grab onto and they wanted to know how I got to this point.
So here it is. How to get out of your comfort zone. Make the impossible, possible.
- Don’t dismiss anything! If you’re looking for your passion, you need to be open to anything and everything. Read, follow, research, like, watch documentaries, make a bucket list, edit your bucket list, go back to your childhood fantasies, get outside, challenge yourself to a new activity each week; cultural, spiritual, fitness, parks. Don’t let me limit you; truly anything is possible and, someplace, somewhere a passion is waiting to find you.
- Visualize how you want to feel. Our emotions are likely the most powerful motivator of all. If you figure out how to engage your emotions, it will be easier to start the process. Every big challenge I’ve taken on the last 5 years I have visualized the outcome dozens of times. Believe it or not, the real outcome is often even better than I dared visualize in my daydreams. That alone keeps me trekking. Visualizing can become a feel good movie in your brain during lonely training hours. Our bodies often mirror what our brain conceives. Mind over matter.
- Commit to and attack a goal! Obvious I know but it’s truly shocking how many people don’t have goals. What I will say about goals is that there is a direct correlation between the amount of stretch you put into a goal and the personal reward at the end. You cannot cram for a stretch goal! If it scares you, that could be the most amazing goal ever! I love big, stretch goals since they require me to change mentally and physically in ways I would never have dealt with outside the emotional investment I had in that goal. The bigger the goal, the more you are required to change. BUT, every big goal is simply a series of smaller goals you get to enjoy along the way. For my 1st marathon goal I ran 13 races in preparation. Each small goal you’re figuring yourself out more, that’s often the hardest part. Most big challenges are a mental achievement over physical.
- Attitude! You need to begin; the hardest part, just start. Think of the reason you chose your goal and use that as your attitude adjuster. Having a big picture is good but you need to break it down to achievable bites and not be too hard on yourself. Fake it til you make it. At the hardest point, Smile 🙂 Know that at first you might not believe in yourself but each day you attack your goal is moving you closer to the believer side. It’s uncharted territory but attaining a stretch goal WILL require you to believe in yourself. That in itself is a reason to set stretch goals. Imagine a world with everyone believing in themselves! Just imagine. Go find others doing what you want to do and surround yourself with them. Join a group. Follow people posting their journey’s on social media and become their cheerleader. Plunk down some money so you show up. You CAN build attitude, I’ve seen it happen over and over again. You can do this!
- It is all just training. This post is not just about endurance goals, this applies to anything. Change requires us all to train ourselves, whether mind or body, to a new way of thinking and living. What I have discovered is no matter the goal, it is all just training. Make the goal big, break it down, get to business, stick to the plan and you will find your way to accomplishing your stretch goal. Don’t be consumed with the big end goal unless you’re visualizing success; focus day to day or weekly and keep your head in the game.
So the next time you’re about to say, “I can’t do that!”, consider the other side of that phrase “I DID that?!”. Consider how amazing it feels to be awestruck with yourself. You might just create your new normal.
The YOU who ‘gets erdone’!
Some Challenge Busters I currently follow and support:
Friends Nir and Sean cycling across Canada for brain tumour research: https://twitter.com/bikeforkids2017
A female ‘regular person’, Rachel, doing the 7 Summits: https://twitter.com/EatPrayClimb
A fellow Beacher, Markus, 2 years into a 5 year expedition around the world – Without motors! https://www.facebook.com/routesofchange/
Marathoner and author, Jean-Paul Bedard, running 6 marathons in 2 days for victims of childhood violence: https://twitter.com/RunjpRun
Motivational fitness coach, Roland, taking on his 1st expedition up Mont Blanc: https://twitter.com/creativemind007
Self professed ‘Leader of the back of the pack’, Jodie, training for her 1st marathon: https://twitter.com/justmejodie