BE Fearless – Track Your Progress –
Progress makes you fearless if you intentionally track it and put all of your focus, energy, and attention on what you’ve overcome as you move forward on your journey.
If you don’t take time to sit down and track your growth and progress, than more than likely you’ll fall into the category of those individuals who always focus on how much further they have to go and then are left overwhelmed with no end in sight. There is an alternative. There are those that always look at how far they’ve come – which fuels them to keep going because they’ve got benchmarks of tangible reference points that show themselves how far they’ve come and what is actually possible to accomplish in very short periods of time when you get out of your own way. The most powerful paradigm shifts happen when accomplishing the things that at one point in time people thought would never even be on the spectrum of possibilities for themselves.
When I was younger I was a gymnast, literally defying gravity every single day. I was constantly learning new things and growing my skill every single day. It was a boundless outlet for expression of growth and progress in which I was able to push past perceived barriers daily and expand my mental capacities for endless possibilities. I was completely, utterly, and totally fearless as an athlete and in everything I approached in my every day life.
Often I was told it “should” take at least a month to learn a particular trick and instead I’d learn it in a couple of hours or a couple of days. That was because I had a proven track record of instances where I had disregarded so many of the “shoulds” that everyone else lived their lives’ constrained by, even within the art of gymnastics, that I learned at an incredibly young age that others were most often wrong, and that the standards that others had for their own life and their own limits were incredibly low and narrow, and as a competitive and fearless gymnast I daily lived outside of those limitations. The more someone told me that I “couldn’t” or “shouldn’t” or put any kind of their own limiting beliefs on me, the more I was fueled to prove them wrong, and was successful in doing so every single time. I cannot recall a single limiting belief that others had that was helpful or right.
This is probably something that many adults who were once child athletes will have experienced as well. Yet at some point, unless you are still devoted to the crafts that you once did as a child, we lose these powerful outlets and we start to lose the strength of the fearless muscle. It weans, our fearlessness becomes weak, frail, and /or non-existent, and we start to live in the confines of societies and “others” limitations for what is possible for us. This is such bullshit, and yet we buy into it and we just accept the mediocrity that is our own life, and the lives of those around us. It’s all because we don’t intentionally and consciously exercise our fearlessness muscle that allows us to unlock the cage of mediocrity and brake free from its confining and toxic cell.
I recently stumbled upon a new outlet that has allowed me to defy my own perceived limitations and reawaken this old fearless beast that has been sitting on the sidelines for years waiting for me to ask it to come out and play. And now it is in full force in a majorly Epic way.
I share this with you in hopes that each of you can find your own outlet so that we can all live lives that we are passionately invigorated by, which have boundless possibilities, and endless amounts of vigor, intention, purpose, meaning, fulfillment, bliss, and pure joy!
Let me preface this by just saying candidly… I have fucking hated running pretty much my entire life. One day recently a girlfriend of mine asked me to do a “fun run” with her. Those two words were not ever something that I would have ever put together or correlate as even remotely synonymous. Running was the farthest thing from “fun” that I could possibly think of. Hell would have to freeze over and pigs would have to fly in order for me to run, let alone “just for fun”.
Just to paint a crystal clear picture here… I’m not even sure I’d have even considered running for my life. Like, if a volcano had erupted and I’d have to run for miles to escape the molten hot lava, more than likely I’d just be like, “damn, I’m fucked” and that’d be the end of that.
I happened to say yes to said friend. I am not sure why exactly. At that moment I was definitely questioning my sanity. Nonetheless I said yes to the so-called “fun run” and signed up for it with her. Anyone who knows me knows that “fun” is something that I have mastered. Golden. Check that box. Got it. Which meant that now I needed to work on the “run” part – which I had never worked on, ever, like never, as in the last time I could ever even remember running a mile was when I was in grade school and we had those presidential tests and we were forced to run the mile. Keyword “FORCED”.
So my friend and I scheduled a day to run for a bit to work up to being able to do the 5K we had signed up for. On the actual day of our first exploratory prep “run”, my mind rushed with excuses to get out of this commitment. I even tried talking my friend out of her even wanting to run. I offered many other things that we could do that were more synonymous with “fun”, like yoga, walking, going out to a nice dinner, staying in and having a good heart to heart chat, hanging out with her son, going dancing, playing Frisbee… pretty much anything but running…
After no such luck at Jedi mind tricks, I was left with only one option – To run. I am not sure that I would call what I did on that given day “running” per say – It was a lot of walking fast, body aching, panting, trying to keep up, and cursing. LOTS of cursing. (Also, lots of questioning how important this friendship was to me, because maybe I was going to have to avoid her for the rest of my life, and that would potentially put our friendship in jeopardy.)
Looking back, I think that I was able to run a quarter mile straight at max, and I think this may even be being generous, before having to stop and needing to “walk it off”. And to be honest with you, the only reason I was even able to go that far was because I am a stubborn son of a bitch with a shit ton of pride, and my ego was trying to keep up with my friend. So, the quarter mile metric was literally me killing myself, with the ego in the driver’s seat. I knew I needed to be able to build up to our “fun run” so that I wasn’t a complete hot mess of a dead weight on the day of the event, so we kept meeting at the track to run/walk/jog/pant/curse/question the friendship, etc.
The first “fun run” was, not going to lie, a real son of a bitch. I took a LOT of breaks, I walked a LOT, and I was HURTING. But the experience of it was actually quite fun. We played in mud. (I am all about new experiences and the thought of playing in mud made the little girl inside of me so incredibly giddy. I never miss an opportunity to re-parent that little girl and give her anything and everything that she wants, and more than likely that was why I said yes in the first place. Yes to the little girl inside of me, even when the adult me was like… “wait a second, can we talk about this…” I tend to tell the adult voice to kick rocks, since that tends to be the voice that delivers the most limitations, and also the little girl me has never steered me wrong – She just wants to play, and who couldn’t use more play in their life?!) Anyways, after that first “fun run” I now had a benchmark of how I felt, how long it took me, what I would have like to do better next time, and what I would need to work on in order to make the progress that I was know seeking. (And since I had the benchmark of the quarter mile from day one, I knew anything past that would be progress.)
I was hooked and I signed up for another “fun run.”
In the process of getting ready for the next one something happened that I never thought in a million years would ever happen. Like, not even if I had a gun to my head would I have ever thought that this would happen… I had a little craving to run… and ended up hitting the track solo. WTF. Who am I?! It was crazy. I had officially lost my mind! People who know me also know that I know crazy, which I might argue could also be synonymous with “fun” at times, so I was totally intrigued and along for the ride!
The day that I hit the track solo I ran an entire mile straight without stopping. It was the first time I had ever done that on my own accord, ever, in my entire life. And running it on my own accord, it was, dare I say… FUN!!!! A fucking blast actually! Not the running part per-say, (I’m still a work in progress on that), but the fact that I pushed myself farther than I ever expected to go – the world didn’t come to an end, my body didn’t give up on me, I didn’t break anything, and actually I could have probably ran even further but decided to give myself the gift of celebrating the mile for the day, being super fucking proud of myself, and leave additional growth and progress to track for another day. Also, on that day it’s important to note that there was a new driver in the driver’s seat. The little girl had opened the driver’s side door, yanked ego out of its throne, and took over.
The day of the second “fun run” I ended up running the full 5K. Granted there was a fun obstacle at every quarter mile that gave me a little breather in between, but I ran the entire thing. It blew my mind how resilient the body is and how the mind gets in the way.
I now go to the track several times a week because I crave running and the high that I get as I push through the perceived barriers and constricting limits that I had once put on myself. I now run 1.5 miles straight without stopping and intentionally incrementally grow it by a quarter mile every single time I am ready to push through to the next level. I have even started to bring my dog with me and I am quickly realizing just how neglected she too has been all of these years. She is a Boston Terrier and therefore an incredibly speedy little being, but after just a couple of laps she was wiped out, and couldn’t keep up. So now we have something we can do together where I get to bond with her, give her the love, respect, attention, and workout that she needs, and all the while giving myself an outlet to change my life forever and destroy barriers and limitations so that I can continuously reach higher heights and tell people to take their own “shoulds” and “cant’s” and stick it where the sun don’t shine. (The picture above is of my dog, Izzy, from a couple hours after we got home from our first run – She didn’t move for hours, and even as I stood there above her and called her name she didn’t move a single muscle. She looked as if she had been shot and left for dead. Haha.)
So, you many be asking, HOW do I replicate this in my own life? Don’t worry, I’ve got you!
First of all – Say YES. To yourself. To things that you thought you would never do. To challenges that are put in front of you. Try new things. Experiment. Play. Similar to the fact that taste buds evolve and change as you get older, where you find yourself eating something that you once tried when you were younger, you hated it, and yet here you are now as an adult all these years later and you find that you are absolutely delighted by it’s taste.
Be open to new experiences – Try things even when your mind digs into the archives of the past and concludes that you that you don’t like them because you didn’t like them 5 years ago, or 10 years ago, or 20+ years ago… you get the idea. Worst case scenario, you won’t like it and then you don’t continue to do it, and maybe wait a few more years to try it again just for shits and giggles. But then you will KNOW what you like and don’t like based on the you of the here and now.
Just think – What are you missing out on if you are basing your tastes, and your likes and dislikes, on an old version of you instead of this new and evolved version of you whose tastes very well could have changed? Try something new! Experiment with your life! Find out what YOU really like. What feels good to YOU. Let go of limiting beliefs. Explore. Play!
Second – 28 Day Challenge to track your progress and break through your own perceived limiting barriers –
- Pick an activity that you can do for the next 28 days. Something that you can measure and record exactly where you are at on day one. And something that has tangible and measurable tracking variables for capturing progress and growth incrementally every single day.
- A foreign language – tracking words learned or sentences compiled, conversations you can have, etc.
- Running – tracking the distance you can run on day one without stopping, how you feel, what your breathing is like, what is going through your mind as you run, etc.
- Yoga – How many poses you can do, which ones you can and can’t do, which ones are easy, which ones are difficult, how often you take a break during class, how your body feels during class and after, etc.
- Swimming – How many laps can you do without stopping? How do you feel while you are swimming? Which strokes can you do? Which ones are easier and which ones are more difficult? Which one do you want to focus on getting better at? Etc.
- Do that thing for 28 days.
- Track your progress daily.
- Review ALL of your progress daily and celebrate your growth. (i.e. on day 10, look back to where you were at day 1.) It’s not about the miles you could be running, or the millions of words you have left to learn of a new language that should be your focus – With purpose, consciousness and attention – focus on the words that you HAVE learned, and the miles that you HAVE run. Focus on the progress and growth, and always look back at how far you have come!
Stop using others as your benchmark for how far you have come and or how far along you “should be” at a given point. Use yourself as a benchmark for growth and progress. Meet yourself where YOU are at, grow from there, and celebrate and acknowledge the beauty that is found in your own progress!
Finally – SHARE!
Let us know what your 28 day challenge unveils! Share your story with us, so that you can help light the path for others as well! Looking forward to hearing about your AHAs!
Life coaching changes the fiber of your being to the point where you can forever and sustainably alter your life to create one that you absolutely love living, stepping into a you that is one that you absolutely love being, and forever leaving mediocrity in the dust.
If you like what you read here – Check out my other blog that is the journey of an actual coaching client of mine who has transformed her life in huge ways, filling it with epic adventures, and looking and feeling sexy for the first time in her life!
Recent Post – Accepting Mediocrity is Total Bullshit! Knock it off!
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