When I first started exercising and focusing on getting myself healthy, I wrote one of my first Fit Friday posts about setting goals. My goal was to run a 5K. That seemed pretty much impossible to me because I had never been the athletic type. I was a cheerleader, which took a lot of stamina and flexibility, but that was the extent of my athleticism. I knew nothing about how to exercise, nothing about strength training, and nothing really about fitness of any kind. What I did know, though, was that I absolutely hated running.
The 5K was my goal because I knew it would be difficult to reach, which meant I would feel a large sense of accomplishment if I was ever able to do it. The competitive side of me came out because each time I ran I was in a fierce competition. My competitor – myself. I had to compete with my thoughts telling me I couldn’t do it, and I had to compete with my body telling me it didn’t like running and was sore and tired. I had to compete with my own time and distance and was determined to reach or beat one or both each try. I was motivated, and I reached my goal within a few short months of setting it.
I still hate running, but I do it every so often just to compete with myself. I have run several 5K races, and I plan to run another one in the fall (when it’s cooler because I don’t play around with Texas heat).
Tip of the Week
Be uncomfortable. None of us like to be uncomfortable. We like to stay within the walls of our comfort zone. I’ve written often about stepping outside of your comfort zone because outside of those walls is where greatness happens. Don’t be afraid to step outside.
Each time you reach a goal, set a new one, and try something that makes you uncomfortable. Tomorrow I’m doing something that is so far out of my realm of comfort that I can’t allow myself to stop and think about it because if I do, I will find a reason not to go through with it.
Everyone’s level of comfort is different, so what is uncomfortable for me may not seem like a big deal at all to you and vice versa. See, I am the nerdy student, so to speak. I have always been one who has very high test anxiety, and I’m a horrible test taker because I overanalyze and second guess myself, so I have always had to know exactly what would be on the test. If I didn’t know, I memorized my notes verbatim beginning to end. I didn’t care how long it took me, I had every word memorized. The problem was that I didn’t know answers when they were asked differently on the test than how it was worded in my notes. I don’t recommend studying this way for this very reason.
So, here I am, only a little more than 1 month into Krav Maga training, and I’m going to take my first belt test tomorrow. I keep hearing how the first test is “a breeze,” but for me there has never been a test that was a breeze. I don’t know what all I will be tested over because when I ask, the response is always that it will be what I’ve learned in class and that I don’t need to worry about it. However, my mind starts questioning, “What if there are things I haven’t learned since I haven’t been there quite as long as the others who are testing?” Then I think about all the techniques I still don’t have down as good as I should, and I don’t usually react as quickly as I should . . . and then I panic.
It is for this reason that I do not allow myself to sit and think about it. I am going in tomorrow with a goal of finishing the test and doing well even though I do not know what I will be tested over and even though I know I will not have everything down perfectly.
This is a first for me – a big step. When I complete testing tomorrow, I will not have only tested for my first belt, but I will be leaving with an even bigger accomplishment. I will have allowed myself to be uncomfortable and imperfect in order to reach a goal. Will I get my yellow belt? I won’t know until tomorrow, but the fact is that I’m trying.
In 35 years, I have never done that. I may have been nervous about doing something, but I did it with confidence that I knew exactly what I was doing and had practiced it over and again until I could do/say/perform it perfectly at least 3 times in a row. Yes, that is me. I put so much pressure on myself that I do things like this . . . all because of lack of confidence in myself.
Whatever you set your mind to do, do it with confidence. If you mess up in the process, hold on to that confidence understanding that there is not a soul in this world that does anything perfectly. The mistakes we make should not hinder our confidence in who we are and what we’re capable of doing. Instead, they should help us push harder and do even better the next time.
Set a goal. Be uncomfortable. Most of all, be confident.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
This is my command—be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.”