I have to be honest, I want it. There’s no crystal-balling here, no fortune telling. It’s simple: I know I want to be running and on trail again because of the actions that I’ve been taking for myself. For starters, after my injury…wait for it…I’ve laid off running (that’s a first). I’ve spent time in the gym on machines that I would normally swear off like they were against my religion. I know this is hard to believe, but I have not only listened to my physical therapist but I’ve actually done the stretches she prescribed religiously every day (unthinkable 😀). For the first time, I’ve done strengthening exercises with weights for my legs. Side note: I “hate” (strong word I know) lifting with my legs and haven’t done a “leg day” since high school football. Even then I skipped it whenever I could. Nothing feels good about doing any of this, but asking the almighty question “what do I want?” isn’t even necessary… It’s in my actions. Did I mention I want to run trail again?
Our actions, what we want to do–need to do to fulfill our potential when it comes to the things that are important to us may not come easy. They may take real effort and patience to find progress, but we know it to be what we want. We feel it in our guts. So we weather the difficulties and the down times. We motivate ourselves with the visions of us getting what it is that is so important to us. Our emotions in these instances are our advisers. They reward our actions with a feeling of confidence, even just from making the effort. It isn’t in the ‘win’, but just the amazing feelings of pride from just staying the course: trying that new job, sport, adventure, relationship, etc. We know what we want because we feel it!
And sometimes we don’t. We think we should feel it. Whatever ‘it’ is, we feel like it should be important to us. It was important to us six months ago. Wasn’t it? We don’t wanna look flaky. We would feel ashamed. I know for me, if anybody knew that I changed my mind or I felt differently about what it was that I wanted, they would be shocked or at least question my commitment. Any of these ring a bell?
This is usually when we have an adversarial relationship with our emotions. Our efforts can hurt us or reward us. Consistent day in and day out effort towards a singular purpose can consume us or be a compliment to our life. That’s to be expected. Motivation comes and goes but ‘want’ of something that burns inside of you keeps the way lit, like a lighthouse in the distance. This is different, and can produce real feelings of despair if we feel derailed or something’s off and we can feel it. So, what can we do when that happens?
The first step is awareness – Not easy by any means, but an ever-important, brutally honest conversation with ourselves about whether we still find the pursuit of our goal worthwhile is paramount. Without it, we are treading water. And our emotions won’t be fooled. Like a crew that has lost confidence in its captain because of misinformation, whether intentional or not, our bodies and minds begin to mutiny by not performing the simplest of tasks. Asking yourself, “Is this what I want?” And writing out a small but solid list of ‘whys’, will get all hands on deck to either abandon the ship for a new endeavor, or will bring focus to reinforce your efforts and bring all hands on deck while you go after your original goal!
Ask yourself if you’re keeping things fresh? Sometimes our goals are perfect just as they are, but the way that we’re going after them may be tired or stagnant. Try and bring some creativity to your process of going after your goal. Switch things up. Change when you do something, how you do it, and who you’re doing it with if you’re getting any help with your goals at all, and it will make the process that much more lively and interesting.
Truth is, I’m fortunate and grateful to know what I want and if I didn’t that’s OK, as long as I’m honest with what is important to me in the present moment. I have my goal of mobility for myself, challenging myself, physically, mentally and emotionally, and being fit. At present, it has me doing everything I need to do to heal from my injury and back on those trails. With that in mind, and knowing how that feels in my body just to say it, I’m gonna go do my stretches!
If you would like to learn tools and skills to help you improve your emotional aptitude, reduce your emotional isolation, lessen your avoidance of shame, fear, and anxiety, and enable yourself to reach your goals, break old habits, or create new ones, I can help. I provide emotional resilience coaching, so you can achieve your goals. We can meet either virtually or in person at my office in Waterbury, Vermont. Just click the button or the link below for a free consultation and let’s talk.
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