How do you improve your level of self-trust?
How do you build grit?
How do you go from “I don’t think I can” to “I am going to”?
You believe. You decide. You do the thing.
Last month, in November, I turned 30. It’s not the ideal year for a milestone birthday, but I chose to make something positive out of it. I set myself a new challenge. My intention was to restore a sense of self-trust, which seemed to have slowly diminished without me noticing as I went about my 2020 taking on the challenges that came with it.
It happens to the best of us – and that’s why self-awareness is important.
My year started off in the midst of a devastating bushfire crisis during a trip home to Australia and evolved in a global pandemic, significant life changes, confusion around my continent of abode and some business setbacks. By the end of Q3 (once an accountant always an accountant!), my heart was weary, but I was unwilling to give up. I’m sure we all have a 2020 story that could replace this paragraph. And the fact we’re here sharing this moment means none of us gave up.
Through my education in complementary therapies, especially growing my understanding of psychology at the neurological level, I’m acutely aware that my well-being is my responsibility. On all levels. I cannot outsource that. I can ask for help. But I must do the work. Only I can do the work.
Back to my challenge… My impending milestone triggered self-reflection. I wanted to enter my 30’s with the mindset that would set the tone for the next decade. I needed to shift it from where it was. I needed to trust myself again. I needed to feel strong and resilient and capable of reaching my goals. So, I set about creating some for myself to execute over the month of November. Goals that felt rather audacious.
So audacious that I called it a personal bond.
Every day I committed myself to three things:
I would run (build stamina)
I would take a cold shower or a cold swim in nature (build my capacity to face my fears)
I would write in my gratitude journal (attune my mind to give more attention to the good things)
And, as a capstone, on my 30th birthday I would run a kilometre for each year. A relatively untrained 30 kilometres in one hit.
So every day in November, I executed my three daily tasks. There was no negotiating with myself. I simply did it. No questions asked. Even when tired. Even when I’d had a bit too much to drink the night before (sorry not sorry). Even if my legs hurt. Even if I felt mentally trained. In any weather conditions.
On the 23rd, I ran 30 kilometres. I stopped to take a few pictures as I was blessed with amazing weather and I wanted to share snippets of my day with my family back home in Australia.
This personal bond I made with myself taught me so much. It restored my sense of trust in myself – I know I can do hard things (with fresh memories of the experience!). I know I can commit myself. I know I can face my fears and even enjoy the process of doing it.
What was most impactful about this month was showing myself that I can run again. Because for me, this was not just about keeping a commitment to myself, this was returning to an old passion which I gave up for health reasons a few years ago. I believed running made me sick. I believed it was too stressful for my body. And because I couldn’t “logic” myself out of that belief which turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy based on previous attempts to return, I needed to approach it another way. I ran my old beliefs away, I confronted them head on. I went into the challenge prepared to hurt myself. Shin splints, muscle pain, twisted ankles, I was ready for any of it. In fact, those would be the only things that would stop me. Until that point, I would push.
I reached my target. I did it. No injuries. Some discomfort? Sure! But I enjoyed the experience of it because the reward of giving myself the power to change my beliefs and my relationship with myself all at the same time was so thrilling.
Now what does all this mean for you?
I’d like to invite you to look at your own limitations. And now challenge them. Can you too make a bond with yourself? One simple bond is enough… you don’t need to go crazy like me.
Can you see where you can use a bit of tough love to push yourself closer to embodying the person you want to be? To living in alignment with your values?
Achieving your dreams always begins on the micro-level. I believe sometimes we complicate it too much – we look at the big challenge and allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by it. Therefore we never start.
Start with one small bond.
Make a relevant one, one aligned with your dreams, goals or passions.
Stick to it.
Trust yourself again.
Believe. Decide. Do.
Then make another one, but think a little bigger. Think of these bonds like stepping stones toward success.
I feel ready for 2021. I feel mentally strong. I feel ready for anything. I know I will have my back no matter what happens – and I want you to feel a sense of that too. I want you to feel you have power over your experience. Not always your outer one – but your inner one – always.
That’s why it is important for me to share my personal bonds with you. Because if I can do this – you can too. Use your YOU-power. Be the fuel that fires your life.
Do you need some accountability with sticking to your personal bond? During January 2021 I am running a free New Years Bond challenge where as a community we will work toward our own achievements and having some fun in the process. Challenge participants will receive daily support emails from me with all kinds of mindset tips to keep you on track, inspirational quotes and perhaps a bit of light humour too. Let’s keep it simple, easy and fun – let’s do it together!