The first step is to believe

31 08 2015

I’ve spoken openly of my goal to complete a half ironman in the misguided belief that telling people I’m doing it will mean I convince myself that I can do it. I even signed up for the Taupo 70.3 event in an effort to tell myself that anything was possible (which happens to be their motto).

It didn’t really work.

I still went through phases of sheer blind panic, incredulity and utter disbelief. How the heck was I going to get myself through around 8 solid hours of exercise, including two disciplines I’d barely done prior to October last year?

What. The. Hell. Had. I. Done?

Then I went to a conference with work. Now, normally I’d expect to come away from such an event full of ideas to apply to the parts of the day I get paid for. But this conference was different.

Yes, it was focused on leadership. But it was more focused on us as individuals, as leaders.

The biggest lesson I came away with was one I could immediately apply to my half ironman dream.

The first step is to believe you can do it.

This insight came from the incredible Vinh Giang. Now, you’re probably looking at his website with as much scepticism as I was when I saw his talk on the conference programme. But his way of using illusion to demonstrate some simple human factors that applies as much to everyday life, as it does to business, and magic, was astounding. And incredibly insightful.

In his words, if you label something impossible, you will believe it’s impossible.

If you don’t believe something is possible, you won’t even take the first step to give it a try. And taking the first step is the most important thing.

And, coming from a magician, the biggest trick you can play on yourself, is to say something is impossible. Because your beliefs dictate your actions.

Now, I thought I’d taken the first step. I’d signed up for the half ironman. But did I really have faith in myself to be able to do it? Had my training been convincing? Had I been trying hard to push myself and swim further? Ride longer? Probably not. And the result was I probably wasn’t progressing as fast as I wanted to, which then led to more lack of belief.

But since listening to Vinh, I took things up a notch. I went back for more swimming lessons and have now joined a swim squad.

I’ve completed the two longest bike rides of my life.

I feel stronger and fitter. And with each workout I feel I’m improving. I feel one step closer to my half ironman goal.

And now, I believe I can do this.

I can I will End of story

(borrowed from a friend who just completed her first half ironman and who has helped me believe)

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