Last week I shared my Big Scary Goal for 2016. I had debated about whether I should share this on such a public forum, or if I should hang on to my goal and keep it a secret. Everyone has a different style and personality and the decision to share (or not share) goals is deeply personal.
Writing a blog is a funny thing. Why would someone share their life, thoughts, feelings, trials and tribulations so openly on the internet? Do we write for ourselves or do we write for our readers? For the most part I write for myself. My old race reports serve as reminders of times when I dug deep or times when things didn’t work out as I had hoped. I read through them from time to time when I want to find out the nitty gritty about how I executed a race. I read through old posts to remind myself how far I have come. If there is one thing that I hope my writing does for someone who reads it, it is that I hope it inspires them. I don’t view myself as athletically gifted, but I do believe that I have a lot of heart and drive to be the best athlete that I can be. I want to inspire someone to race their first triathlon or to sign up for their first Disney race…whatever it is. I hope something in my writing encourages them and makes them start to believe that they can do it too.
If you know me in real life (and you are not one of my dearest training partners or my husband) then you may have noticed that I struggle with talking about racing and training. When people ask me what I’m training for next I blush and stammer out “a marathon in Phoenix” while my husband is poking me and saying…”helloooo, what about Ironman???”
I admit to being reluctant to share my super secret pie in the sky goal. Why? Because I fear failure and not achieving it? Because I fear that I’m not good enough? Yes and yes. Aiming for a finish time more than 2 hours faster than my personal best is a huge dream to have. If we don’t speak our dreams aloud then we don’t have to deal with public disappointment if our day doesn’t go how we hoped. Am I afraid that someone will point at me, snicker and say “Ha ha, you failed!”
People don’t really do that (do they?) so why hold myself back? And if they do that, then they obviously aren’t your friend!
Something I am learning from people who are successful is that they aren’t afraid to commit to a goal. They live it, breathe it, and the more times the words pass their lips the more they begin to truly believe that they can embody that goal. I don’t think that means that you need to run around and introduce yourself saying “Hi, I’m Leana and I *will* (insert dream here)” but I do believe I need to own it more. To reach my goal I know that I need to have courage and belief in myself. Yes, it will undoubtedly take hard work along the way, but if I don’t truly believe I can do it then I have already lost. That was a big part of my motivation for sharing.
Sharing our goals, hopes and dreams with friends, family members or complete strangers can have other important benefits. My slightly faster friends will join me for my long run, because they can help me push outside my comfort zone a bit more. My husband will support me in my quest to cook healthy meals or give me a nudge if I’m not motivated to get off the couch. I can have an open and honest discussion with my coach so she knows how to tailor my programs. We’ve talked about if this goal is realistic and she can give me the right amount of push in training. Having a support network is huge!
We’ve allowed failure to have huge negative connotations in life. I’d encourage you (as much as I am encouraging myself) to let go of that fear of failure. Put yourself out there and try because otherwise you never know what you are capable of.
Other bits and pieces I’ve found inspiration from:
- Larisa Yurkiw used rejection to light her entrepreneurial fire
- Brené Brown on the Power of Vulnerability
- Sonja Wiek’s Thoughts on Norseman…what happens when you believe you aren’t ready to show up. If you want to read something epic read her Norseman report! This unsupported iron distance triathlon in Norway is thought to be one of the toughest races in the world.
- Sonja Wiek’s Ironman Tahoe Run Report…of course the swim and bike is a must read, but there are some juicy gems at the end of her run report.
- Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence
- Beginner’s Luck: Finding The Confidence To Reach Your Goals by Meredith Atwood
Tell me how you feel about failure and confidence in your athletic pursuits.