I have a pool at my gym and I have been swimming two or three times a week. And every time I get down to the end of the pool and take a breather before turning around, I see a quote staring at me in the face on the wall right above me.
"In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can."
First of all, I love that there is a quote on the wall right there. Because I love quotes and finding inspiration in odd places. Like the pool wall.
I never in a million years thought I would ever add swimming to my mix of things. Not because of any reason, I just haven't done really any swimming except to make it from one point to another recreationally and functionally. In a just-try-to-not-drown kind of way. I've always been kind of a team sport player. Doing something solo is a lot harder to me because it's you versus yourself. If you're on a team and you lose, there are a million reasons why, and probably only a fraction of it is your performance. Which is a little soothing in a way. (Sure, I hit into a double play in the last inning, but Shiela blew a play that cost us two runs in the 8th so it's all relative!)
But when it's just you, there is only yourself to rely on, and, eventually if you feel the need to, to blame. When it's just you, there is a little more pressure. Because there is no "team" to let down. It's only you. And there is no one to carry that load with you.
Now that I'm swimming regularly, it makes me feel like the triathlon I'll be doing in July is real. And even though I had seen that quote a million times when I made it down to the end of the pool, it never really sunk in. Until one day it just stuck with me and long after I had dried off, it kept going through my mind. Over and over.
Because nothing really happens if you think "Hmm. Maybe!" And there are always going to be people around you who feed that self-doubt. Who make comments like about whether or not they can actually picture you achieving the goal you're pondering (like that matters anyway!) Who almost like to see other fail because they can't dig deep within themselves to bring themselves success. The Negative Nelly's. The naysayers. The ones who haven't seen their own dreams come to fruition so how could yours possibly come true...
Not that I am a "Secret" follower, but I've found that there is something to envisioning the end and the end that you actually want. To giving yourself no other option except success. For me, success is completing the triathlon at all, preferably without puking. But if I puke and overcome it to complete the triathlon, that too is a success. Because that means completing despite obstacles.
I have always had a problem believing in myself. My first thought is always, always, "I'm not sure I can do that." What happens to me is that I see other people racing or playing college softball or becoming a field producer, doing things I have only dreamt about... and then I compare myself to them and think to myself how embarrassingly unqualified I am for any of that.
But am I? Or do I just do that to myself?
I'm pretty sure it is just me. That I have the uncanny ability to stunt my own growth. If I let myself.
I don't want to dream "safe" dreams anymore. I want to believe I am better than that. I want to believe that it's not about the triathon, it's about any "insert goal here". Because if I don't believe in the goal and even more importantly, in me, who will?