A few months ago as I prepared to go out for a run, I was intrigued by my discipline and commitment to something I previously disliked and gave every excuse under the sun to avoid. First, it was the memory of the day I almost passed out running as fast as my legs could carry me to collect my brother from nursery, followed by surgery to remove a cyst between my lungs and heart in my early teenage years, and finally the diagnosis of my heart murmur in my early 20’s that had kept me from running. For years I made excuses, believing running was something I wanted to do, but couldn’t do.
Putting on my shoes at 10pm, I was excited and raring to go. I thought back to a few months prior when I told my younger sister, running wasn’t for me. In my head, it looked great as I visualised myself running for hours, but in reality a few minutes into a run, I was struggling to breathe wondering how on earth marathon runners ran for hours. How my older sister and two friends trained and ran the 25 miles in the London and Milton Keynes marathons was beyond me. How was it possible to run for almost 5 hours without stopping to rest?
The funny thing is despite the fact I told myself I disliked running, I had always visualised myself doing it. I saw myself running effortlessly in the evening or early mornings without a care in the world. No heavy breathing, no signs of passing out and no desire to give up and start walking. In my vision, I wasn’t enjoying it, I was loving it.
Throughout the summer, running became my thing. I was out most mornings and evenings, music playing through my headphones, relishing every moment. As I embraced my new found love, I started wondering how many other things I was capable of that I had talked myself out of with my lifetime of excuses. I had spent years telling myself running was something other people did, all the while longing to do it myself, but never committing to it. This got me thinking about the many ways my mindset, actions and lifestyle have changed since I adopted an I can, I will, I must attitude, backed up with plans, goals and lifestyle disciplines.
So What Changed?
Visualisation and actions. The word visualisation had been popping up in the many inspirational books and video’s I had been reading and watching. It even cropped up in numerous chapters of my book. When I first heard it mentioned in the miracle morning as part of a morning ritual, I didn’t get it and struggled to execute the practice, I was frustrated because I could not get my mind to visualise my vision for my future. My mind was blank and remained that way.
For a while, I thought there was something wrong with me if I couldn’t picture my vision, then I was going nowhere. It didn’t matter how talented or driven I was, without a vision, I had nothing.
They say if you can visualise it you can have it, something I know to be true because for 35 years I visualised myself being depressed, and for 35 years remained depressed. People often think visualisation is just a positive thing, but it can be just as powerful, if not more so from a negative stance when lead by our emotions and what we see with the naked eye.
How we see ourself is visulaisation. How we see ourselves, backed up with how we act is what propels or keeps us bound, and it’s possible to do both at the same time, which won’t get you very far, in fact, the bibles sums it up beautifully in James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Taking Life For Granted
Many of us take life for granted, losing a day here and there, aimlessly wandering through life or allowing life to aimlessly lead us by unstable emotions. We visualise ourself doing something, but then allow our emotions to entice us out of it. Is this something you can relate to?
Throughout the writing process of my book, I saw many missed opportunities where my emotions had got the better of me, but I also saw where unnoticed visualisation had won the day and roared with triumph. This was encouraging because it meant my present situation was all an emotional smokescreen to get me to give up on something I could do, had done and mastered
It was visualisation that enabled me to purchase my first and second home. It was visualisation that enabled me to work and live in Florida for 18 months. It was visualisation that enabled me to purchase vehicles, own business, write books and more. It is visualisation that has me writing this blog
I have what it takes to not only see myself doing something, I also have what it takes to see it through to completion, and so do you. You probably hear it all the time, but don’t settle for less. Listen to that voice that won’t ‘leave you, that dream that won’t die, that pulling that gets you every time you see someone doing what you know you should be doing, but you’re too scared to do. Quit with the excuses. you may think you have time to waste, but you really don’t. That saying life is too short is true
Having lived life making excuses for my fears, I hadn’t realised all that time I was adding strength to my excuses. Every time I thought myself out of doing something I really wanted to do, the former became stronger than the latter.
It was all in my mind. The fear of making a fool of myself, the fear of what people thought. The frustration of giving into the fear yet again after telling myself I wouldn’t. There comes a time in life when all that chatter has to stop.
The Wake-Up Call
We all have one, that moment when the penny drops, for me it was turning 50. Turning 50 I realised I possibly had fewer years ahead of me, than were behind me and that scared me enough to stop being scared and do something about the dreams that lay deep withing and really make something of my life. You see it doesn’t matter what the world see, we can easily fool the world, but we can’t fool ourselves, and I was done fooling myself, making excuses and living in fear.
Today, I am doing my best to be intentional about everything. Gone are the days when I could put things off in favor of another day. My days are getting shorter. Today is about seizing the day, which means kicking fear to the curb and grabbing life by the horns and going for it.
Every time fear raises its head, I tell myself why I need to do what I need to do as opposed to listening to the reasons why I can’t do it. By thinking this way I am getting stronger, and strength is what I need to make up for my lifetime of excuses.