Nerves are a reminder than you can grow. They are your friend. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it isn’t – but when it comes to doing a 10km run or even a 5km run, I start to get nervous. My mind starts to ask questions and even 12 hours out from the actual run itself I am already preparing myself for what is to come. Why? Well if you don’t experience this, or maybe you do and you have no idea why… I don’t either. But what I can tell you is this. Nerves and mind games can be channeled into something more and something which can enable you for the better. This is my interpretation…
To me, nerves/being nervous is a sign that growth is coming. It is a sign that I am about to step outside of my comfort zone and bring on a new level, or at least try to. But how can this be all from a run? Well, when I run, I run to win and what I mean by that, is I run to outperform my previous run. To do that I need to step it up (push harder) and this scares me, it makes me anxious as I am setting an expectation to achieve higher, to be greater (faster) than before. In order to get to that result, I will endure some hardship of pain and I will need to constantly fight my mind while progressing through the run. I have to tell myself I’ve got this and that I can do this, that I am strong enough and by the end of it I should have beaten my goal. When I don’t, simply put it is a disappointment. But when I do accomplish my goal, I feel like I have conquered the world. So regardless of if I beat it or not – each week I have the same mentality to get out there, to own it and to beat it the next time. Likewise – this is the same mentality across my broader aspects of my life. All that I do or all that I am pursuing. I am pursuing to be better these each day. Growth by each day is a life I will know I have lived to its fullest.
Breaking The Mind
Further to the point before – another reason why I am feeling nervous is because I am about to embark on a period of pain. Pain to the muscles; yes, but more so a deeper pain and battle with the mind. 12 hours before I am out there to do my best, my mind is already scared of the endurance and potential hardship it is going to have to suffer in order to get the result I want. Like when you hit yourself with a hammer, the next time you will be frightened or cringe before making the next hammer swing. Your brain automatically tries to protect you from doing something it thinks you will not want to endeavor. Maybe I don’t. But the better half of me, the one that wants to be a better I has to overcome this mindset and push through no matter what. Once again – this is in reference to growth. It is all about the growth. In order to grow – one must travel through valleys, through mountains and rivers. Through the easy and through the rough. This is all part of this journey.
A New Reality
Regardless of if I beat my run or not – to me the nerves even when not related to running suggest another point. To me, they imply that change, a better change, a lesson is coming my way. As no matter what is the result of the run or whatever it is causing the nerves, I am either going to come out happy with a new goal or a new level of achievement, or I am going to come out of it experiencing a sense of failure, but with a new battle to fight for and new spark of motivation. When we fail or make a mistake – these are to be fueled by a new energy to try again and to try again harder, bigger and better than the first time. So ultimately I am always going to be coming out of the experience as a better person… sometimes it can just take longer than usual to realize this than I would like.
Ultimately – these nerves are setting me up for a journey in which I will grow, that I will win battles, or create new goals and in the end, it brings me to a new level, to a new location with a new experience and result. From this, as it compounds (with runs, or whatever else it may be), I am going to continue to exponentially grow. The best part is; I am growing in many ways. I’m growing my mental state, my psychological state, my fitness, my health and also my perceptions, my experiences and my ability to conquer fear.
So next time you feel a little nervous or even a lot. Remind yourself that this is because you are outside your comfort zone – and you need to remember that where the real magic happens, is when you are outside your comfort zone.
One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again. – Abraham Maslow
Go on – get out there and shine.