A friend of mine posted this on FaceBook today and it really got me to thinking.
Each of these steps are crucial in the ladder to success.
Step 2: If you believe you can't do something, even if you actually DO the thing you won't own it. I remember when I told my running friends I wanted to run a 5K in under 30 minutes. They laughed at me because our training runs were generally faster than that pace. But I didn't really believe them. Until I decided to believe it was in fact possible, I was stuck on that step. Believing you have the ability to succeed doesn't mean you want to put in the work or that you know how....it just means that you believe it's possible.
Step 3: Making the decision that you WANT to do something really amounts to a dream. It's not a goal until you move on to the planning and working phases. But really solidifying in your mind that you absolutely DO WANT to do this thing ...and more importantly WHY you want to do this thing is such an important step that can not be overlooked. I have realized in the last 10 years I really do NOT enjoy riding my bike up (or even down) steep hills. I put myself through training and completing a grueling first Ironman that had BRUTAL hills on the bike course but I never really WANTED to ride hills. So for my second Ironman I chose a course with rollers instead of steep climbs. When you REALLY do not want to do something, you "can" get past this step with sufficient enticement, but it will be like pulling a heavy suitcase up stairs...you'll bump along with no ease or enjoyment unless you embrace the wanting.
Let me give an example. I THINK I'd really like to train to do another Ironman. If I'm dreaming I THINK I would like to do Lake Placid. That bike course supposedly has about 8300 feet of gain on the bike course. It's not nearly as hard as Lake Tahoe's bike course was, but it's tough. If I decide I really will train for it, and that I really can do it, then I am going to need to embrace WANTING to train and race hills on the bike. OR I have to WANT to finish IMLP so much that I will gut out the hills on the bike with no enjoyment at all of the process.
|IMLT '13 elevation|
"I want this end so I'll suffer through the means to get there" really isn't pleasant. Just decide to WANT the means as much as the end. That doesn't mean the thing you WANT is going to be fun, and it certainly doesn't mean it won't be hard, but those aren't prerequisites to something you want!
Moving on to Step Three. Oh step three. "How do I do it?" Honestly, this is probably one of my favorite steps. That's why I'm a coach. I generally enjoy learning things almost as much as I enjoy teaching/coaching them!
Not everyone is like this. Very strong-willed and/or very accomplished people do not often like admitting they don't know HOW to do something. When my daughter was little I wanted to teach her to tie her shoes. She pushed me away and said "I do it myself". She didn't KNOW HOW to tie her shoes, but she wasn't interested in learning. It caused her a great deal of frustration.
I've tried to give swim lessons to kids like this. It never goes very well for either of us. For some kids it's a matter of trusting me/trusting the process. For others, it's about control. There's a girl I've worked with a couple of times who will NOT allow me to touch her when she's trying to float on her back. Now, she hasn't yet learned how to float on her back and she's as tense as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. If you know anything about floating on your back it requires you to relax in a very vulnerable position (head back, body out flat). This girl says she WANTS to learn, but she's unwilling to ask HOW or accept ANY help at all. People like that usually have a lot of "failures" along the way to get to that top step because they have to learn by making a lot of mistakes. It's like they want to reinvent the wheel by coming up with their own way to get to their goal.
Once you've decided you will do something, you believe you can, you inject sufficient desire and you LEARN how to do something, it's time to get to work trying to complete the task! Sometimes you are lucky and this step is easy. I'm going to say if you try and you immediately get to the next step you probably didn't set a challenging goal for yourself! A "FAILure" is really just a First Attempt At Learning! When a goal is difficult, there might be many attempts at learning! There's a reason the saying is "If at first you don't succeed, try, TRY again." (Instead of there being only one "try"...get it?)
That brings us to Step 6....you have learned how to do the thing you want to do, so know you know you CAN do it, right? Nope. Remember my story about the 30 minute 5K? Even showing me data that I had done this in training didn't get me to the "I can do it" step. I stayed on the "I will try" step for a while until I fully embraced "I CAN DO IT"....but just knowing you can doesn't mean you WILL. That's the next step...setting out to make the goal a reality.
Here's the cold hard truth. You might stumble up and down these steps a hundred times trying to reach the very top ("I did it") step. You might, like most people, get stuck on a certain step (or three) along the way. You might camp out for a long while before you finally move on, or you might decide you want to move to a whole other set of stairs.
Just wanting something is not enough to actually make it happen...
Thanks for stopping by and sticking around.
Make it a great day!