There are million, trillions of them. Some are everyday words, some are whispered words, some are shout it out loud at the footy words. Some words are heard and some are just listened to. But what are the words you say to yourself?
When someone asks me how I ran the half marathon, my answer is I just ran. It wasn't easy but I played mindgames to keep me going. " Sheer bloody mindedness" my parents would call it. Countdowns, mantras in time with my feet, bargains like if I make it to the next kilometre, "that's 15 minutes in a long hot bath." At the 18km mark until 21.1 mark I chanted " I can Do this" over and over and over. All those words were POSITIVE. Not once did I think " I can't do this it's too far. It hurts, I can just walk" If I had I would have given up then and there and not finished.
Thats something I learned in my training, once I think I can't do it....I can't. So I began talking myself into it. When I started finding things hard, I'd coax along in my head with words like " You can do it! You ARE doing it" When things were getting dire it would often be " MOVE YOUR ARSE WOMAN! You know what to do, quit whining and do it!" And I would.
So now I changed disciplines and for the past eight weeks, I've been focusing more on weights, rather than running. I was lost setting goals and those niggling voices were coming back. " You can't do that, look at the size of the blokes that do it" Besides which how do I measure a goal for strength?
Well I have learned over the past 8 weeks that lifting weights is just like running a half marathon. The body knows what to do, the mind needs convincing. This struck home while doing chest presses a few weeks ago. I had done the weight before, it was a challenge but I could do it. This day though, halfway through, I thought " Nup, I can't it's just too heavy" INSTANTLY I couldn't do it. I literally had no strength in my arms to do one more rep and if my husband wasn't there, I'd have been squished. Flow on effect? I went into a bad mood because I felt I failed and then the whole session was a grump fest with lots of struggles.
All from 2 little words...." I can't" close relations to the words " I couldn't"
How many times have you heard yourself say those words?
" I can't run"
" I couldn't do that"
"I can't say no"
" I can't find time to exercise"
" I can't get out"
" I couldn't make it."
Well you know...last year....I couldn't swim. This January I swam 100 metres in the Pink Triathlon.
2 years ago I couldn't run 10 kilometres. I ran the Sussan Womens 10 K Funrun December 2010, 2011 in under an hour.
Then in April I ran a half marathon.....when I " couldn't run more than 10 km"
In May I couldn't do one chinup. In June I did three.
Those words don't count anymore. They're not real. I've proved for everything I said I can't, I can. And everytime I COULD, my life improved HUGELY. Not only am I stronger physically through saying I can and DOING it, but I'm stronger emotionally, stronger mentally.
Get rid of the words that are sucking the life out of you. Replace them with the words that lift your legs, move your feet, that strengthen your mind. You CAN do what you put your mind to. You just have to believe and keep believing. Keep plodding on away at it. Look at the people doing what you want to do...betcha their minds aren't stuck in the " I can't"s. They DO because they CAN. And so can you.