Other than Thigh Chaffing is Real…
If you follow along with me on Instagram, you know that I recently started running. I’ve always enjoyed exercising, but I have adamantly been against running. Frankly, it’s hard, and I didn’t think I was “made” for it. Whatever that means.
I got tired of telling myself that I couldn’t run and decided to do something about it.
My first “run” was on June 1. I ran 1 mile. I thought my heart may explode out of my chest, but I was so incredibly proud of myself after I did it. I was proud, not only that I ran the mile, but that I was able to challenge myself to do something that wasn’t easy and to keep going when things got hard.
On July 6, I ran with my husband my first 3.1 miles (or 5K as the cool runners call it), and it took me about two weeks to muster up the courage to try it by myself. On July 23 I ran my first 5K by myself.
I am not telling you this to receive high-fives or cheers, though I’m always looking for more running buddies! I am telling you this because, if you are reading this, then you are likely on a self-improvement journey too. Whether you are beginning a new career, decluttering your home, or going for a fitness goal, we are constantly pushing ourselves to make hard decisions and to think differently.
Here are 4 Things Running Has Taught Me That Apply to Many of Life’s Challenges
Have a strong “why”.
In organization, I call this your vision, but you’ll hear the term “why” in personal finance, fitness, or many other industries. Knowing why you are doing something will make you more likely to stick to whatever it is. The only catch is that it has to be yours. A “why” that you feel in the core of your soul.
The only “why” that isn’t a good one is the one that doesn’t actually mean anything to you. Determined to get back in your “skinny” jeans? Then use that for motivation. Want to get off of blood pressure medicine? Then run for that.
In organization, we’ll use your vision to guide you in making decisions. Just like running, the only vision that is a bad one is one that isn’t truly yours. Your vision cannot be what you saw in magazines or what you are doing because your mom did it.
When clients struggle to decide whether to keep an item or not, I remind them of their vision. Does the item fit into your vision? (Not your mom’s, your grandma’s, or your friend’s.)
Lean on support and know when it’s time to go on your own.
My husband is a natural runner and has a half-marathon under his belt. He can take off months of running, and then pick it back up easily. (We’re really happy for him, right?!) When I told him I wanted to run, he was thrilled that he would have a running buddy.
I did the first 6-8 runs with him because, quite honestly, I wouldn’t do it otherwise. I wouldn’t push myself, so I relied on him to push me.
The first few sessions with clients, I ask a lot of questions and challenge them a bit to think through how they are sorting their items into the keep and discard piles. It’s usually by the 4th or 5th session that they begin to anticipate what I’m going to ask, and they can start challenging themselves a bit more. I see them light up when they realize that they’ve made a really tough decision using their vision and the questions that I taught them.
Know when to push yourself and when to let it be easy.
While I am running, I am fighting a constant battle to stop. It’s not comfortable (especially in this heat and humidity), but I keep pushing myself because I know I’m safe and am only improving my physical and mental strength. I think about how proud and strong I will feel when the run is over, and I keep going.
On the other hand, sometimes you need to give yourself a break.
When I work with clients, I often have to push them outside of their comfort levels, but I can also tell when it’s not a good time to tackle certain items. I ask them how they are feeling about certain items or categories, and if it feels too daunting or heavy, then we try again later.
Start listening to yourself and get a feel for when you need to dig in and when you need to coast a bit.
Evaluate the labels you put on yourself.
I hear the term “multi-hyphenate” a lot these days when it comes to describing entrepreneurs with multiple passions (or revenue streams, really). I guess it’s “new” because for so long people have had one job, but aren’t we all multi-hyphenated people?
I was so tired of telling myself that I wasn’t “a runner,” so I started running. In that case, the label was great motivation for me. But it also made me think about the times that labels we put on ourselves aren’t a good thing.
I have a client who loves clothes! She takes great pride in having a large wardrobe and rarely repeating an outfit. In her case, the label of fashionista is a fabulous thing! For someone else, the pressure of that label could be a burden.
Evaluate the labels you put on yourself or have allowed others to put on you and decide if they serve you. In some cases, they may light you up inside (mom, encourager, volunteer, etc.), and in other cases, they may weigh you down.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Comment below!