It’s just like Lauryn Hill said, “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?”
There is a voice inside all of us — you know — “The Voice.” The Voice can crush you or it can carry you. The scariest and most beautiful part about The Voice is that you, and only you, can control it.
If you’ve been following along, you know that I made a big move this past July for a job with a fantastically busy law firm in Charlotte. I am a trial lawyer, so this means that I spend the majority of my time writing, researching, answering discovery, negotiating with insurance adjusters, going to court, taking depositions, holding meditations and meeting with clients. I love my job because it is challenging and keeps me on my toes. But some days, I feel that I have so much to accomplish in an hour, a day, a week, that I find myself taking deep breaths and chanting, “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this,” in my head.
This exercise does not make the work go away, but it makes me feel better and a little more confident about my ability to perform.
Can you guess where I learned this trick?
Yep. Marathon training.
This week’s Call to Action: Actively train your Voice.
Fight the Negative Voice
This conversation happened every single morning last week. Every morning! It happens quite often, actually.
Helen’s alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m.
Helen: Oh man. I’m tired.
The Voice: You ARE tired. Don’t you want to stay in bed today?
Helen: I mean, yes I do want to stay in bed, but I need to get up and work out.
The Voice: Do you really? You’re so tired. You need to give your body a break.
Helen: You’re right. I need to listen to my body… and I’m SO comfortable right now.
The Voice: You can run this afternoon!
Helen: I could…
Alarm rings a second time. It is now 5:09 a.m.
The Voice: You could run as soon as you get back from work.
Helen: Yeaaaa, that sounds like a good idea…
Still Helen: but we all know that it won’t happen.
The Voice: Why not?
Helen: I’ll get home tired, hungry and not in the mood to run. Then I’ll be mad at myself because I didn’t get it done this morning.
The Voice: But…
Helen: No. I have to get up. This conversation is over. Okay… I’m getting up!
The Voice: Uggggh. Okay, let’s go.
Helen has a great workout and feels fantastic the rest of the day.
Let the Positive Voice carry you
On Saturday morning, Helen runs 15 miles at Kure Beach, NC. It is a pleasant 51 degrees and overcast, but very windy. Helen has been running for 12.5 miles at a pretty fast pace, but when she turns around to run the last 3.5 miles back to the cottage, running into the wind feels like trudging through packed sand while pushing a 150 pound wagon of bricks. She looks down at her watch and realizes that her pace has slowed.
Helen: This wind is brutal. Ugh. I’m slowing down.
The Voice: Come on, Helen! Let’s go! You’ve got 3.5 miles left. You’ve come this far.
Helen pushes forward for a few more minutes.
Helen: I hate this. I can’t go any faster. The wind is killing me. I want to stop.
The Voice: Helen, GO! DO NOT STOP! You CAN do this!
Helen actually starts laughing at herself because the wind is so strong, she must look completely ridiculous.
Helen: I can’t go any faster.
The Voice: Forget your pace. Just keep going.
Helen: I want to walk.
The Voice: Are you kidding me? COME ON! You have 2 miles left. TWO MILES. GO.
Helen: (out loud to herself) COME ON HELEN. COME ON.
The Voice: Forget about your time. Just keep going. You’re doing great.
Helen: One mile left, I can do this!
The Voice: You can do this!
Helen can do it. And she does.
Funny thing — my dear friend, Leigh (seen above) texted me on Saturday. Leigh is training for her first marathon and she was preparing to run 11 miles on Sunday. She was “terrified.”
I’ve just got to get some sort of mental game together for these long runs. They just totally put me over the edge.
I shouted positive words in all caps at her over text and told her that the 11 mile run was her opportunity to train her mental game.
Figure out what is holding you back. Fight the negative. Get control. You’ve got this.
Leigh gets wrapped up in her pace. She looks at her watch and she’s going too slow, so she speeds up. Then she’s going too fast and worries she’ll burn out, so she slows down. For her 11 mile run, I challenged Leigh to fight The Voice. Use it for the positive. Leigh picked a fun route that she loves and covered up her watch so that she couldn’t focus on pace. Guess what The Voice said to Leigh during the run?
One foot in front of the other. Keep moving. You can run as slow as you want, but you will not walk. This is making you stronger. Every step you take is putting miles in the bank and getting you stronger and getting you one step closer to your goal.
(Insert praise hands here.)
You see, the first step is to acknowledge The Voice. Then, talk back to it. If it’s negative, figure out why. Make a conscious decision to use a Positive Voice. Practice that over and over. Eventually, you will feel better and perhaps a little more confident in your ability to perform.
You can be on a run, stuck in traffic, or facing a tough day ahead. Whatever life throws at you this week, train The Voice.
Fight the Negative Voice and let the Positive Voice carry you.
After all, how you gonna win when you ain’t right within?
See you out there!