Sometimes, when I’m moving forward on a new path, I begin to lose sight of all that I’ve accomplished in the intimidating shadow of the new reality I’ve created for myself. I forget how far I’ve come, and instead focus on how much I’m falling short in a recently developed habit.
Take exercising and staying fit, for example. I’m not happy with where I’m at right now. I’ve been half-heartedly conducting my workouts, and the morning routine I was so very proud of at first has all but gone down the tubes. I’m constantly telling myself I’ll exercise after work so that I don’t have to drag my groggy carcass out of bed and onto the workout bench at 6:30 a.m. Granted, I’ve been checking off these workouts and have only actually missed one or two of them, but I know I’m not doing my best at them.
I feel a rush of disappointed in myself until I realize that the facts – the reality – are overwhelmingly and positively in my favor. I’m finishing up my 9th week of consistently working out six days a week. Wait. 9 weeks?! That’s a huge amount of time, especially given that before that my level of physical exercise was completely nonexistent. Working out 6 days out of every week? And most of the workouts taking place in the morning? Were I to travel back in time to chat with myself 2+ months ago, I would have scoffed at such an incredible accomplishment. “What, me? Little miss couch potato? The night owl who can barely get out of bed in the morning to greet the day? I don’t think so,” says my former self.
Yet here I am, looking back over the past few months with the knowledge that I did indeed achieve this great feat by sheer force of will.
Understanding this reality makes me feel much better about the situation and shows my perceptions for the silly falsehoods that they are. Upon this realization I suddenly have renewed passion about continuing my progress. While I’m clearly experiencing a plateau, I now understand that it’s completely normal and that I will pick myself back up and get back on the horse with increased vigor.
What negative perceptions are threatening to sabotage your progress on a worthy goal? Perhaps you need to take a little trip back in time and acquaint yourself with this reality: you’re kicking your former self’s ass and best of all, you’re going to keep it up, my friend.