Friday, March 29, 2013

Mental Hurdles

This morning I had several discussions, while on my two runs before 10:30 AM, about mental road blocks and hurdles that we give ourselves. We all do it. We all limit ourselves. We all think, 'I have done X, I can do Y, but Z, that's crazy!' This attitude is holding us back.

So how do we break through these mental hurdles? Good question. Practice, for one, gives us the opportunity to reach new heights. If I want to run a 2:17 marathon that involves 26 consecutive miles at 5:15 pace, thus I need to practice 5:15 pace for hundreds of miles and it has to feel slow. Also, I have to practice running 5:05 miles quite a bit and 4:55 miles. I have to practice running faster than five minutes per mile. I cannot be phased by 4:XY on my watch. I will probably run a sub 5 mile in a marathon at some point. Experience, secondly, gives us the knowledge of the components of the achievement. When Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon, every switch had been flipped in space and every maneuver had been done before, they just did the operations in that particular order for the first time to land on the Moon. Third, confidence, sometimes seen as arrogance, ignorance, and even faith, which it might be depending on the circumstance, encourages people to accomplish what has not been done. How does one gain confidence if not through practice or experience? Often words or guidance from others give us confidence in the ability to accomplish a task. Sometimes success in unrelated endeavors creates a feeling of confidence in all aspects of life. Of course ignorance usually plays a factor too whether willful or unimaginative.

Identify the hurdle, the challenge, practice taking it down, get the experience of taking down smaller related hurdles, and with the confidence and support of the right group, know you can take down that hurdle. So take it down already!

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