Have you ever set a goal that you wanted to reach and as you started to work towards that goal, you begin to doubt everything – even yourself?
It’s inevitable and you’re not the only one to experience these issues, I promise you! 😉
You are normal, more or less! We all go through this and it’s actually a normal part of the process towards becoming better in any given area. Seems like we can easily convince ourselves that we have “learned” it all and are “experts” in some fields when there is always room to grow! 🙂
When we reach the point that we doubt our goals, our capabilities or ourselves; it’s important to understand that this only proves that we are doing the right thing. This is simply the point in our journeys that we have already achieved. This is our “plateau” or current state of excellence. In order to achieve more or different results; we must push for more. It’s at this point that we must decide, whether we are satisfied with this current situation (because it’s “easier” to do so) or if we are serious enough to push for more. (and this is definitely the “harder” decision to make)
Think about when we start a new diet plan. We are excited when we begin (because we’ve already mastered this area in the past, I’m sure!) and we jump into the planning phase and telling everyone within earshot of the new results we are finally going to achieve. We are strong and confident and we actually welcome the first signs of discomfort or challenge. (again, because we’ve done this before in one way or another)
It’s not until we get into our daily “habits” which are already ingrained into our daily rituals that warning signs begin to emerge. We sleep late one morning and don’t have enough time to eat the foods on our new “diet”. We get asked to lunch at work and decide; “this one time won’t hurt”…right? We promise ourselves we will get back on track in the very next meal.
But becomes just another lie that we tell ourselves. Why? Because we have now crossed into our familiar ways of falling off track with a new plan. This, again, is our “set point”. It’s where our bodies and our minds have already succeeded and we are so bombarded with life’s tasks and stresses that we pull away from the resistance of pushing into a new phase. We’re hungry (if we are eating enough calories to feed our bodies, the hunger can be stemmed from our habits of eating more or boredom or just emotions); we’re tired (anytime we start something new, it taxes our energy stores more than the “normal” habits that are already ingrained and on auto-pilot); we feel different from the people around us and in not wanting to “stand out” and look “strange” …we decide it’s easier to just let it go “this one time”…
The excuses continue until we are left with no willpower to push further…and so we just give up and claim it was an unreasonable plan for us at this time in our lives, right? Haven’t you been there before too?
Which brings us to our doubts. It’s simply “resistance” to stepping into the unknown territory. We reach a point that becomes, more or less, our breaking point. We find our minds and bodies in a battle over the ability to continue. (haven’t you experienced this in a workout too?) The only way we can truly succeed beyond these boundaries, is to venture into the new and unfamiliar territory…and that takes persistence.
You will always contemplate wanting to quit, give up and/or leave when we hit this wall of resistance; aka: “new territory”.
The wanting to quit is the easy way out…but if you truly are committed to reaching your goals (they must be more important to you than allowing them to be pushed aside), you must continue. You must keep at it and deal with the blows of life; the hurricanes of emotions and old behaviors; the struggles of stress and uncertainties; the doubts and the thoughts that you just might not be “cut out” for this.
If this is your level of commitment and persistence, nothing can stop you. You may fall or slip up; but time and again, you rise and you continue moving forward. Do you see how this type of commitment cannot be stopped? We only truly fail; when we decide to call it quits.
When you can’t continue; you must continue if your goals are still a priority. You take one step at a time…you just keep moving forward (or you risk moving backward)…
You continue until you feel that realization or that “enlightenment” of attaining a new “high” or a new “edge”. I like to think of it as that “runner’s high” when you push yourself beyond your previous limits and one day, you feel that natural energy high. You feel like you can fly and there is nothing that can stop you. This is that feeling of mastering a new level and a new “normal” or “ceiling” has just been created.
There are necessary ingredients for successful people. You must be fierce, determined and hungry for change and success. The problem, however, is that every one of us will inevitably hit our wall and stop somewhere. We may hear an idea, opinion or someone’s ‘truth’, and we hold onto that idea and we drain that idea until it is empty of all strength and energy and just dies. We flatter ourselves and believe we know the truth of this journey.
The actual truth is that in success; learning never ends. This is why everyone must be constantly pushed to their “edge” or their “limits”; which is the abyss/the unknown territory.
When we get into a habit of craving the “new” beginnings and to start fresh like a beginner; as a student, is when we continue to realize new goals. Without suffering through the newness again, we risk allowing our minds to settle on a thought or pattern and our spirit and energy beings to dwindle and the newness runs off and we again sit idly in our “complacency”.
I’ve learned this in myself in such a powerful and telling way this past year, that it is almost overwhelming to see a glimpse of why I’ve been stuck at some plateaus in my life. I’ve always shared with others how I love to workout and challenge my body in new programs, intensities, weights, etc. This is “easy” for me. This is my “normal”. I’ve recently realized, however, that I tend to underestimate the power that the foods I eat have on my overall success. Yes, I’m rather happy with my current weight and level of fitness so I tend to stop trying to attain new goals in this area. My focus has become how long I can push through Insanity Max:30; how much weight I can increase in my Body Beast or Hammer and Chisel workouts; how much more I can do in my 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts, etc. These are fun and exciting and the area of change that I focus on most. But the more telling area that I needed to more honest in, was in my eating. I’d always start a new plan excited and on track and for some reason, I would falter somewhere; always blaming one reason or another. But as it wasn’t detrimental to my results since I was already mostly satisfied with my current “normal”; it didn’t get my attention until I noticed this was a pattern and I was tired of allowing myself these “excuses”.
I am now focusing on being completely transparent about my foods. If I eat it, my body knows so why would I think I have to hide it from the world? I’m sharing it so that everyone knows I’m struggling at times too and that there is no such thing as perfection. We just continue as that “student” and as a “beginner” at a new level.