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What is it about "long" runs that produce deep thoughts? I'm sure Jack Handey has something to say about that. During a run this last Saturday and afterwards in a "Deep Thoughts" conversation with teh wifey/coach, I thought a lot about self-doubts. Let's be honest here, I have a lot of them ( like, I'm not sure that I will ever be able to play disc golf for a living). And for a long time I've let them rule the roost. These things are powerful, they are not easily cast aside, especially when they've been entrenched for a long time and have grown comfortable in their surroundings. (Mine have a nice butt groove going on the living room couch.) So how do you cast them off? How do you get rid of the unwanted cohabitants? By what means do you free yourself to go and take the risks necessary to fail and grow and try again and finally "succeed"? Why did I ever make the horrific decision to watch Coccoon II: the Return? All good questions.
In a coincidence, there was an article about that exact topic over at Zen Habits, a site I occasionally peruse (I also peruse this occasionally). I liked the article, (my inadequate in-sentence summary of which is, go try, see/measure the successes you are actually having, and keep trying until you succeed more) but there was still doubt in my mind about this approach (shocking!) Getting out and trying seems like a good first step to success, but seeing the success is where it seems to break down. Those of us carrying around a backpack full of self-doubts (or Yoda) have a hard time seeing any success at all. In fact what frequently happens is that we try and then at the first sign of failure, all the familiar dialogue lines come out. "This will never work." "There is no hope." or "There is NO WAY I can get a gigantic X-Wing out of that mud hole by using a knobby stick and frowning a lot!" Or even when the encouragers in our life try to help us see the success we poo poo it or pass it off as "they don't know what they are talking about!" So what to do?
I don't have any superlative answers, but here is my three step program of what I'm going to try.
1. Do it. Stop waiting, procrastinating, making excuses, wasting time in distractionary activities, and engage.
2. Silence the voices in my head. (Earplugs?)
3. If it doesn't work go to #1. (GoTo Loops are my BASIC programming speciality)