The Power of I Can.
A few years ago before what we shall call a significant birthday, I decided I needed to do something “meaningful”. Something I hadn’t done before that would have an impact on me and others. I had a yearning to do something physical and I stumbled upon a run for charity that was 5 months away. I should add at this important juncture, that I am far from the action bunny. I’m the girl who puts Active-wear on to look like I am doing something sporty (and in truth I think I should be doing it) but the seldom do the clothes or I make it to the gym. I Can.
I have good intentions; the follow through is less than admirable.
So when this opportunity raised its head I instantly thought “Brilliant, I get fit, lose weight, raise money and do something that feels good all round”. Win.
I signed up not actually believing that I was going to do it. It was a strange feeling as I can only describe as a knowing that the future “me” was going to be doing it, even though the current version of me was nowhere ready.
I joined a gym, but in true Petra procrastination I hadn’t really thrown myself into it, I went haphazardly for a couple of weeks which really did nothing to build stamina or increase fitness levels. I wanted to do this, and I quickly realised that if I didn’t do something soon, it was going to slip out of my hands and it would be a failed project
I thought about my personality, what was going to give me the best chances of success; I know I can talk myself into or out of anything depending on the level of desirability of the object / act / or person in my sights.
Louis Vuitton Handbags, must do holiday’s and what turned out to be undesirable boyfriend attest to the fact that I really can convince myself something is a good idea when it isn’t. Failed gym memberships, diets and stretching out of my comfort zone are a testament to undesirable things in my life which I have persuaded myself do not need to be followed through.
If left untested this is how my brain works: Gym class @ 7 pm – hmmm I wake at 6 am so that’s 13 solid hours of rationalising and forming a plan and excuses of exactly why I SHOULDN’T be doing going at 7pm. Thoughts of “I’ve had a long day / I’m tired / something is on the TV / I have to go to work after the supermarket / because I just don’t want to” are all it takes to mean I don’t go.
So the best way for me to succeed is to give me very little wriggle room. I needed a no excuses solution – a no reason not to.
So I had to think of other ways to ensure success.
Petra McCloughlin is a thought leader with the Royal Society. Believing that life can feel fulfilling, sweeter, fun and enjoyable. Connect with her on Facebook.
This is the first installment of a 2 part authentic story from Petra. Please check out how Petra overcame these challenges by checking out Part 2 by clicking here.