Ever want to take on something new? Perhaps a new exercise routine, a project you’ve been thinking about forever, asking that special someone out on a date, moving to a new location, going on that big trip. Does it occurs to you as difficult as climbing Mount Everest?
About a month ago, I went for a walk with my friend Shannon. Prior to going I had so many reasons and excuses not to go; I didn’t feel well, there was smoke in the air from nearby forest fires, it was raining slightly…the list goes on. Fortunately I have created a fitness partnership with my friend and with her encouragement we went. We were walking along the river path when we approached a gate with a sign indicating the path was closed due to construction. In all honesty, I was relieved…again I didn’t ‘feel’ like going for a walk. I shared this with Shannon and we had a good laugh about it….so great to laugh at my humanity rather than feel bad about how I was really feeling.
We turned back and Shannon asked me if I wanted to tackle the nearby hill….well this hill looked enormous and I really wasn’t feeling up to it. With resistance we walked towards the hill and when I looked up the hill what came out of my mouth surprised me…I said ‘I can’t do it’. It looked difficult, like Mount Everest. I thought for a moment wondering why I was already willing to quit before I even started? Where else does this show up in my life? What would be available out of trying, starting, even if I only went part way? I noticed what I was doing was looking at the top of the hill and it occurred as so far away, so out of reach, difficult to tackle, not achievable. I realized that this is what sometimes stops me in life- when I think of the end result it seems huge and unattainable rather than taking things one step at a time with committed actions along the way.
With that I started up the hill setting small goals along the way. I stopped a few times to take a break and catch my breath. At the first stop I realized…in the past when I would go hiking or similar activities I would get really hard on myself because I wasn’t able to keep up with others. I would be very critical and mean to myself, comparing myself to others and this had me not want to exercise any longer. This thought crossed my mind as I noticed Shannon was a head of me on the hill but rather than comparing myself to her, I acknowledged myself for not giving up and was grateful for the supportive friend and fitness partner in Shannon.
When I reached the top of the hill I realized it wasn’t as hard I as thought it would be and was proud of myself (of both of us) for doing it.
As I complete this posting I asked myself why I was so confronted by this hill as I have taken on many things which occurred more difficult/scary such as completing a marathon, traveling alone, etc. I realize this is simply a block, an opportunity to look at where I get stopped and choose actions based on my commitments rather than my feelings.
In conclusion I share 2 quotes of inspiration:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu
“Courage is one step ahead of fear” – Coleman Young