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I recently put out a podcast about how “waiting” is a terrible habit to get into. Of course, there are some things we cannot avoid waiting on: traffic, a baby to come, the publication date of a book, a concert. But that’s not the waiting I am talking about.
Many of us are still waiting on that perfect time, body, weather, financial situation to start the sport of triathlon, or to tackle our first race, or to step up the distance. We think that if we just wait a little while longer, then the stars will align and we can begin.
What are we waiting for exactly? And when does waiting turn into that not-really-welcome familiar friend of self-sabotage? When do we stop comparing ourselves to others, and really embrace the greatness that is inside?
“But I don’t have any greatness,” I swear to you I receive in an email at least every 2-3 weeks.
That’s the first issue. We are waiting for greatness to find us; but the greatness is already inside of us. We just need to dig it out. “But I don’t know how. I am stuck.”
Whatever the reason (or excuse) that we can present for not doing the things we want to do (swim, bike, run, race, unicycle, knit, skydive)—it really boils down to a decision (yes or no). And then a creation of habits to enforce that decision.
We are standing in our own way when it comes to starting, stopping, and moving forward. We are overcomplicating the fact that we can take three steps and move in the direction of our goals: 1) Decide; 2) Identify and set up the habit; 3) Then, do the habit.
It sounds so simple, right? Well, it actually is.
But what is not simple is prying our heads out of the sand. Why? What? Well, sand (I have learned in the last few years) is the scientific location where many of us like to keep our heads—it protects us, we are blind to the truth, and we can continue to read the same tired “I just can’t do this” script over and over again. We are literally reinforcing the same garbage of “I can’t do it” in our heads with our own words.
Can we all admit that is actually quite silly?
In order to change, we must do something different. We must also change our thoughts. The best way to start? Is to start right now. Don’t think about anything. Go to the pool. Get in. Swim. Go home. Take the bike for a ride. Repeat. Put your shoes on. Go run. Head to the gym and lift some weights. Do Zumba. The list is endless—but the list requires action. There is no day like today to just show up.
Forward movement requires, well, movement. If you don’t know what you are waiting for, then take the leap. The leap is not nearly as big as you are thinking it is. The leap simply requires a decision, consistency and the art of #justkeepmovingforward.
Meredith Atwood (@SwimBikeMom) is a recovering attorney, motivational speaker, coach, and author of the best-selling book, Triathlon for the Every Woman. She is the host of the podcast, The Same 24 Hours, and writes at MeredithAtwood.com. Her next book, The Year of No Nonsense, is available December 17, 2019.