How do you manage self doubt?
Lately, for me it’s been difficult especially as Ironman training kicks into high gear. Words that race through my head include:
What am I doing?
I feel like a failure with balancing business, training, family, friends.
I’m tired with 85% of my body being sore 100% of the time.
How am I going to make this happen?
Am I crazy for racing IM?
Why am I racing IM?
Wisdom taught me self doubt is common among all people, even those who appear most confident. Self doubt causes our mind to create a rational reason to stop a goal, to not follow a dream. But think about that … That makes no rational sense!
I admit … for years I battled self doubt after being stalked, raped and shot at. Then that sweet inner voice, my gut, told me to race Ironman. The voice screamed louder than all rational thought, and thank God I listened.
Ironman taught me how to build mental strength by being aware of self doubt and vital importance of not staying in a negative mindset. Ironman also taught me the power of replacing self doubt with self compassion.
One way to be kind to ourselves is to follow our dreams, and for whatever reason I dream of racing Ironman.
So this past week I faced self doubt straight on … eye-to-eye. With an overwhelmed mindset I trained with a few friends.
Thursday we ran 5.5 miles in Signal Hill, and I’m so thankful my dear friend ran with me and ignored my cursing-like-a-drunken-pirate mouth as we ran the hills.
Saturday at 4 a.m. I threw on my best Rudy Project racing gear to met a few friends at 6 a.m.
Together we rode 100 miles in 7 hours, then toasted the day with pizza and beer.
By Sunday, me and my stronger mindset trained solo; ran 10 miles then swam 3,000 meters.
How’s my mindset?
I’m having a wonderful day.
If self doubt battles your mind, manage it with these tools.
Then follow your dreams.
- Recognize self doubt, and don’t underestimate its power. Its goal is to knock you down.
- Analyze why you’re having self doubt, then gain confidence by facing it straight on. Don’t let its vulnerable rational keep you from your dreams.
- Is there a pattern? Mine peeks through when I’m tired and overwhelmed. When that happens I take time to meditate, hydrate, and rest.
- Anticipate that pattern. I tend to get mentally tired and overwhelmed before a hard training weekend where I’ll be physically pushed. So I make extra time (even if it’s just 10 minutes) to stretch and visualize a successful training weekend.
- Take action. For me that means to stop thinking and start doing. I seek out supportive people who are also training for an Ironman. They understand my challenges, and they help build patience and confidence when I need it most.
Always tri. Never stop.
Featured image source: Marina Cook