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What Is Stopping You From Starting?

August 14, 2017


Have you admired the success of another person--maybe the person who lost forty pounds, or the friend who cleaned up her diet for good--and thought, "I wish I could do that!"?


Usually when this happens, we dwell on it for about half a second and then move on thinking, "Oh well, they must have had more ________ than me, so good for them but I can't do that." We fill in that blank with whatever we'd like to believe: time, money, support, etc. 



Sound familiar? We've all probably done it with one area of our lives or another. I used to look at pictures of people doing obstacle races and think, "Wow, I wish I could do that- that looks awesome!" But then I'd immediately follow it up with thoughts like, "Well, I can't do it because that's only for 'super fit' people," or "Well, it's probably way too expensive," or "Well, I'd probably get injured and then I wouldn't be able to workout at all."


What a lovely bunch of excuses!



If I was more honest with myself, I would have admitted, "Wow- that looks awesome but I can't possibly do it because I'm a psychotic perfectionist who is afraid of failing miserably and being bad at something!"



That would be the truth. Not the bogus excuses I'd employ to rationalize why I COULDN'T do it.



What an experience I would have missed out on! Once I got over myself, (not immediately, but for the sake of keeping this a blog not a novel I'll fast forward here) I expressed my desire to try one to my husband (boyfriend at the time). Ben, who had completed several Spartan races including the Ultra Beast, a jolly little around 20 mile plus jaunt up a Black Diamond ski hill in Vermont while completing "fun" tasks such as barbed wire crawls, was more than happy to write me a training plan and work with me.


We now have done two together and are heading to our third in a couple of weeks. We make it work.


Yes, squeezing in training with an infant is tough, yes, the races aren't cheap, but if you are passionate about something you can make it work.


For us, that means we take Josh to a park on Saturdays and one of us does pull-ups on the playground next to him while the other runs around the park, switching each round. It also means using the one race we decide to do for the year as our Christmas gifts to each other and make other little monetary sacrifices to get ourselves to the event. 


But what would have happened if I never started? What if I had just let that little voice, the one that shut me down and listed all the reasons that wanting to do it was stupid, had won? I would've missed out on some of the best times and memories of my life. I would never have discovered that I was, in fact, capable of getting myself over a 10 foot wall and of carrying a 40 lb bucket of rocks up a ski-hill and many other things.


Not everyone's "thing" is Spartan races, I get that. Some of you at this point are like, "What in all the world is this girl's problem that she asks for an all-out physically demanding race for a GIFT instead of getting a massage like a normal person?!"


Or maybe some of you just added something to your bucket list.


Either way, my point here is when you examine why you are not starting something that you feel you want/need/would benefit from--whether it's a cleaner eating plan, working out with a trainer, switching careers,  or even auditioning for a musical, WHATEVER it is ...



What stops you from pursuing it?




Fear. It is always fear. In whatever form it sneaks in, fear is the biggest culprit of getting in the way of our goals. So, next time you feel inspired to try something new or make a change, identify that little voice that is listing all the reasons you can't. 


Then tell that voice to go you-know-where and get after it. Don't let your fears get in the way of you accomplishing something great. Don't let the fear of NOT losing weight, or of caving in and eating a cupcake when you were supposed to be giving up sugar, or of looking like a fool not knowing what to do at the gym--get in the way of your goals. 








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