December 1, 2011

Can You Handle The Truth?

If you’re like me then you’ve spent way too much of your life clinging to beliefs, particularly dis-empowering beliefs, conveniently disguised as truth.   Here’s an example from my own history:

For most of my life I believed you were born to be either a fast or slow runner… and that I no doubt fell into the latter category.  Even after years of training I still filtered my race performances through the “slow runner’s” lens.  Then one day while talking to a friend he said that he wished he could run as fast as me.  That one sentence changed everything about the way I thought about myself as a runner.

For most of us, confronting such capricious beliefs and getting to the truth in our lives is a huge feat, in fact a much, much bigger challenge than coming up with our passion.

Think about it.  If you read my article last time and spent some time working on your passion, was it really that hard to come up with it?  Probably not.

My own example – To fully live the triathlon lifestyle – sounds pretty simple.  But don’t many of us fall woefully short of actually living our passion, me included?  Why do you think that is?  It’s because although it may be simple it’s not that easy.  Living it requires truth AND action to get there (be sure to read my next article on how to get into ACTION).

So first things first:  you need to remove the things that stand in your way of taking action.  Here’s my approach.

Write It Down

Take out a piece of paper and write your passion at the top of the page.  Then write five to ten sentences starting each sentence with the phase:  The truth is…  Here are a couple of examples from my workbook:  Passion:  To fully live the triathlon life style.

  1. The truth is that while I say one of my goals is to qualify and race the Ironman World Championship in Kona I haven’t been anywhere disciplined enough to consistently train at the level it takes to challenge the top age-group competitors.
  2. The truth is I have to quit having that extra glass of wine at dinner if I’m going to get up early and train.
  3. The truth is that I have to be disciplined in each area of my life or the training will never get done.  As someone wiser than me once said, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

If you take time to complete this simple exercise – being honest with yourself – it will take you one giant step closer to performing at your best.  Because when it comes to beliefs the one real truth I’ve found comes from an eastern saying I posted on my corkboard:  in order to create something new you must first destroy the old.  It’s time to identify those OLD beliefs, challenge them, and delete them from your life.  They are likely holding you back from what you are capable of achieving.

That’s it for this week.  Until next time train safe, stay healthy, and hope to see you at the races.

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