A self image, the way we look at ourself, is a powerful thing.
Whatever we believe ourself to be, with conviction, then that is what we are.
Sometimes, if it’s a strong, positive self image, it would work in our favour. But if it’s a limiting self image, one that maybe has been created over time without thinking about it’s negative impact, one that stops us from achieving something of importance to us – then it needs to be changed.
My self image when it comes to running, is that I don’t!
Specifically, I have always said “I’m not a runner”, and I may have done all sorts of sports in my life, but running has never, ever been on the agenda. Until now.
Now that I’ve decided to run a 10K race, it’s time to build a new self image, brick by brick.
It’s funny how it works though, the mind. Even as I had made the decision to enter the race, I kept saying to people that “I’m not a runner”. And I’ll tell you what, that’s not a helpful self image to have if you want to be able to complete a 10K race!
So it must be changed, this self image of mine. And the app that I’ve engaged to help me, helps me to do that too. The way the training programme on the app works is that it started me off running 30 seconds out of every 5 minutes on my 45-60 minute walk/run. And then it slowly builds. So now I run 1,5 minutes out of every 5 minutes.
I’m a 1,5 minute runner!
And it works, I am slowly building a new self image when it comes to running. I couldn’t start by saying “I’m a 10K runner” because I (my mind!) wouldn’t have believed it. But it’s worked to say “I’m a 30 second runner” (sure, I can do that, the mind thinks), and then “I’m a 1 minute runner” (if I can do 30 seconds, I can probably do 1 minute) and now “I’m a 1,5 minute runner” (Yes, why not, I am slowly getting more stamina, I can do 1,5 minutes now).
And the feeling is fantastic! Slowly and steadily I am building a new self image, and it’s working.
I’m a 1,5 minute runner! This is currently my running self image.
And next week I’ll be a 2 minute runner:-)
It works. Step by step by step, little by little. That’s how we build a new view of ourself. It’s really cool:-)
OK, for all you non-Swedish people out there, please humour me on this one….
I’m a big fan of a comedy act called “After Shave and Galenskaparna”, and years ago they had a sort of hit with this song “Det ska va gött att leva, annars kan det kvitta”. It’s all about how life is supposed to be good and enjoyable. And I love the spirit of this song – of course it should be good, easy, fun to live, to go to work and everything else. Who says it can’t be like that!
I so often hear people say that life is tough, that we should be prepared for that. I SAY NO! If I think life is going to be tough, of course it will be tough. Because what I expect, I will then (mainly subconsciously) start looking for.
I’m not stupid though. I know as well as the next person that things aren’t always easy, that we meet tough challenges, disappointments and sorrows – I’ve had my fair share.
But I’m also more and more aware, on a daily basis, that we can impact our own situation – we can choose to have it good, to have fun, and thereby have it better and have more fun! It’s entirely down to our attitude. And you can choose your attitude.
You can choose to have more fun. Just look at your job. Most of us spend around 7-8 hours a day at work. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not. We may get annoyed with people, circumstances and tasks.
BUT YOU ARE NOT AT THE MERCY OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
It is possible to choose to have fun, regardless of the circumstances. It all comes down to what you focus on. Before you go to work, think about how you want to feel while at work, how you want to feel about the people you meet at work – and remind yourself what it’s like to feel those feelings – tap into them. Really feel them.
And then when you get to work, focus on what it feels like when you are having fun – straighten your back, smile, laugh – and you can start to notice how it actually feels better. And how positively others respond when you are happy and constructive.
And if you’re doing something you find boring, tell yourself “I may as well do it with a smile”. Because you always have a choice of doing it the hard way or the easy way – why not make it easy? You’re worth it.
Don’t take things so seriously. We usually do our best work with a clear, easy mind, so try to take setbacks with a pinch of salt. Ask yourself how you can benefit from what’s happened, try to see things from a different perspective.
AND BANISH THE WORDS “FAILURE” AND “MISTAKE” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY. Try this instead – “there are no failures, only results”. Because it all comes down to how you CHOOSE to look at things.
And there may even be something to laugh about. Make sure you find something to laugh about every day! And discover how different everything feels:-)
I love news! I want to know what’s going on in the world – what people are doing and why, what’s happening to our nature, what medical discoveries have been made? And then I open the newspaper, or look at its cover, because that is unfortunately enough:-( .Or switch on the TV or the radio – it’s the same everywhere. Everything is reported in such dark terms – “worst”, “crashing”, “layoffs”, “downward spiral”, “dead” – on and on, endlessly.
Don’t think I’m recommending putting your head in the sand – absolutely not! I think us human beings have a joint responsibility for all the things that happen in the world and therefore we need to know what’s going on in the world. Unfortunately we are so influenced by what’s said and reported around us though. When we’ve heard 10 times in a day that there is a financial crisis then this may finally create a belief that that is the case (whether this is true or not), which affects our thoughts and our actions. We start believing what’s being said so much that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We start acting to reinforce what we’ve heard.
“As there is a financial crisis, our business will do badly this year”. And then I get depressed, introspective, and no longer see possibilities, or look for them, or create them! Instead of thinking – “what are the possibilities here, how can we offer more relevant products and services in the current situation?”
“Since there is a credit crunch, I may loose my job”. And that makes me feel down, negative and less focused on my job (and more on the worry!). Instead of thinking – “I’ll show everyone how good I am at what I do, put in some extra effort. I’ll remind myself of my strengths, continually invest in my own development so that I can market myself and be attractive on the job market if I want to look for a new job”.
So what can we do?
Take control of your mind! Take control of your thoughts!
Don’t let the world around you dictate how you think and how you feel. It’s always possible to make a choice. And if you listen to the news, think of how they affect you. Balance the “bad” news with the “good” news.
Bombard yourself with positive, strenghtening thoughts – the thoughts that can create positive results. Read a book that makes you laugh. Watch your favourite sitcom or funny film. Don’t watch the news just before going to bed (then you risk taking the news with you into your dreams) – let yourself go to sleep with a calm, peaceful and positive mind, read or listen to a relaxing and affirming recording, or your favourite music. Use affirmations, visualise.
Search on Google for websites that focus on good news or positive aspects of the news. Look around and notice all the good things that happen – people having fun, people helping each other, children exploring life with a curious mind.
There’s an abundance of good news. Listen to them, enjoy them and let them help you create the reality you want. It’s your life – live it, love it!