In mid-2010, I set a goal. In summary, I set this goal for the following reasons:
*To practice discipline, faith and resilience
*To have a testimony to inspire others
*To have the kind of physique you don't see everyday i.e. differentiate myself
*To change a destructive pattern that I've struggled with for a long time (quitting!)
The first three reasons all support the fourth development goal to break hindering patterns in my life. I've been equally afraid of success and failure for as long as I can remember. I have sabotaged and talked myself out of so many things with my destructive behavior and negative thinking. The health and fitness goals I have for my body and the corresponding requirements are teaching me so much about myself. Historically, when I'd see some growth, I'd gradually start slacking off with my routine. Why do we stop doing things when we clearly see that they are working?? Well, sometimes we're afraid that we won't be able to maintain a consistent, high level of success. It's like being in a relationship where things are good, and it scares us so we sabotage it by acting up before something bad happens. Somehow we feel that we'd rather be in control by ruining it ourselves rather than something outside of our control ruining it. It's backwards, but for many of us, it's a standard method of operation.
Many times when we quit, we don't admit to ourselves that we've quit. We just stop doing the things we need to do. We fall back into old habits and tell ourselves that things will be different this time. We tell ourselves that we're not ready. We have all the excuses in the world. What's changed for me is that I've bumped my head up against the wall for so long trying to make progress with nothing but defeat on my mind, that I have no other choice but to acknowledge that quitting doesn't work for me. It doesn't boost my self-esteem; it damages it. It doesn't make me feel safe anymore; it scares me. Quitting scares me more than failure. I'll take failure any day because it means that I'm alive and I'm making the most of my life and I'm trying. I don't want to just exist, and I don't want my movements through life to be fearful and/or oblivious. Give me determination, patience and purpose.
Hey, maybe that's it. Maybe purpose is what makes the difference. When you're truly passionate about something, you simply can't quit. The pathway can take unexpected turns, and you can end up here instead of there but that purpose remains. Purpose is the only juice you need to keep going.
While I used to believe that it was a long shot for me to ever grow a viewable muscle, I now have no doubt in my mind that I will reach that goal this year. It's only a matter of time and discipline.
Things I keep reminding myself:
*Remember that everything you set your intention to do is about your experiences along the way, not the end result.
*Only commit yourself to things that you believe in with your heart and soul.
*Everytime you make a decision about what to do next, ask yourself if this is the same thing the "old you" would have done. If it is, do the opposite.
*If you fall off, don't abort the whole mission. Pick right back up where you left off as if you never fell off in the first place. For example, if you ate poorly on Monday, don't use it as excuse to not stick to your diet on Tuesday. Get right back on track.
*Visualize. Not just the end result, but also visualize what you want to get out of the experience and imagine the feelings you will feel when you see things through.
Doing my best to hit that number #1 spot.