You know I LOVE talking about the mental side of running right? Recently I stumbled on Stephanie sharing an amazing story of overcoming fear and began reading her stories about handling our mental struggles and knew I needed her to come share!
You’re out for a run and then you hear it – that voice.
You turn up your music, but it’s still there.
The voice that tells you that you can’t run one more step, that you’ll never shave time off your mile, that there is no way you’ll be able to run 13.1 miles, that you’ll never be faster than you were last year or than the person that just passed you.
It sounds familiar because it is familiar. It’s your voice – more specifically your ego or fear-based voice. It’s the voice that judges, attacks, limits, and compares. It’s the voice that has the power to literally stop you in your tracks.
Our ego is the part of us that often speaks first and loudest. It thrives in fear and chaos. The ego toggles between being stuck in the past and future tripping. We are going to fail because we have failed in the past. Or we are paralyzed by the “what ifs” of the future.
So should we just pack up our running shoes and settle in on the couch? NO! We need to train our minds with the same discipline that we train our bodies.Here is my three step fear-busting workout:
Fear is real because we make it so. Fear is a story that we have told ourselves or picked up from someone else. It’s rooted in comparison, separation, and attack.
Witness your fear
The first (and most important) step to squashing your fear is to simply acknowledge it. Be the non-judgmental witness of your life. The next time you find yourself thinking or saying things like “I’m not, I can’t, It won’t, It’s not worth it, I don’t know” be willing to examine the fear behind your thought instead of accepting it as your reality. Call a fear a fear. There is immense power in witnessing a fear in the moment or even long after it brought you to crazytown. It takes away the power it has over you and allows some light to enter the darkness.
Laugh at the tiny mad idea
As the metaphysical text, A Course in Miracles, explains our fear is born out of a tiny mad idea that we forgot to laugh at. Maybe someone on the playground in first grade told you that you run like a girl or you set out for a 5 mile run and only lasted 2 miles.
Whatever you saw, heard or experienced seeped deep into your body and mind and grew and grew until it became your truth.
Once you begin to witness your fears you can start to see them in the light of day. Talk out the fear – really go there – and let yourself get to the point where you have no choice but to laugh at how insane it is.
Flip your fear
Once you have witnessed your fear and found the crazy in it, you can write a new story. It’s time to bust out your journal, a napkin, or simply the notes on your phone and write out your fear and then flip it. Turn your fear-based thought into one filled with confidence and positivity. As Wayne Dyer says, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” Turn your fears into mantras and post them in places where you’re going to see them throughout the day.
Fear: I’m not in good enough shape to be a runner. I’ll hurt myself and not even finish.
Flip it: My body is strong and will get stronger every time I lace up my sneakers. I am a runner because I run.
I hope these steps inspire you to feel the fear and decide to do it anyway. Allowing your fear to be your reality is like running while carrying a sandbag. It is draining and slows you down. These three steps will bust through your fears and free you from comparison, self-doubt, and limiting beliefs.
AWESOME Stephanie!! I am a firm believer in the idea of focusing on gratitude when runs are hard and sometimes that even means going so far as to say “I love a bad run” and of course reading about how the elites think.
Stephanie Kirylych is a wellness blogger and coach at Spirited Well-being focused on an everyday approach to health and happiness. She is excited to share her passion for yoga, meditation, whole foods, and holistic wellness with her readers and coaching clients.
She has completed the Spirit Junkie Masterclass Level One and Two training with Gabrielle Bernstein and is currently enrolled as a health coach student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
There is nothing more powerful than publicly outing your fear! So let’s hear it:
What does your negative voice say on runs?
How do you shut it down?
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