Where Are Your Limits?
By Carol Hurst, LVT, CVPM, CVJ, CCFP
This isn’t a post that spews toxic positivity. This is a post that I’m hoping breaks open self-reflection. As in most lessons that I try to impart, they start with something I’ve learned about myself.
It is somewhat well known that after having my son, I started a journey as a reluctant Runner. I did it because of the positive effects of exercise but I never really enjoyed it. Over the last couple of years, Running and I developed a mutual appreciation. A partnership. I was able to develop, if not a love, a deep satisfaction for what it was able to afford me. However, I had a very real block. The farthest I would run is 2.5 miles. Don’t laugh! Sometimes, I would stop at 2 miles. The story I told myself was that I had a time constraint and was fitting it into a short window. Or, I wanted to work on speed (and I did for a while, not that I could profess to be anything other than a “casual jogger”). I was comfortable here – as a 2 mile “Runner.” So many of these stories I told myself. The “why” doesn’t really matter, does it? I had in my head this picture of myself. I would get to the end of my trail and feel relief that I could turn back. At the end of last year, Running didn’t seem to serve me as much as it once had. We had grown apart. So, I turned to becoming more acquainted with The Gym. This was a new and fresh thing for me to pour myself into. I completely ignored running for 6 months. One gorgeous early morning, I felt like going for a Run. I missed being outside and having the companion of fresh air and the pound of my feet.
That morning I ran 3.5 miles without missing a beat. I felt strong and capable. I felt a little incredulous at myself as I trotted past my usual “turn back” spot and didn’t feel like stopping. This barrier had been in place for years. My time was also the fastest per mile (…settle down, an 11:15/mile pace was great for me but I’m not winning any races LOL).
I have conversations with practice leadership daily. Part of my role as a good coach is to ask questions when leadership experiences a barrier. Part understanding and partly to find out the mindset around this barrier. Is it a story that you’re telling yourself? If it is regarding a limit or goal that seems unattainable – is there simply another way of looking at it? In my case, I think going to The Gym helped to build up muscles that reduced the fatigue I would feel at the 2.5 mile mark. Reduced fatigue meant more motivation to keep going.
Questions to ask yourself if you find yourself butting up against a barrier or limit:
- Is this a true barrier/limit or am I telling myself a story because…(so many reasons but they really don’t matter in this context – what matters is the identification of story-telling)
- When was the last time I had a fresh set of eyes on the situation? Can I get someone trusted to look at this and make sure that I’m not missing something?
- Do I find myself leading any new idea with, “I’m too busy…”
- How can I reduce fatigue around this situation?
This is a balancing act, right? Many things in life require the consideration of multiple factors – often while juggling more than one plate. This isn’t advocating for overworking or not prioritizing self-care. It is advocating for having self-awareness around those situations where we’re in a rut, we think we don’t really have control and that we can’t move forward. If you are frustrated with a limit you think you’ve reached in your practice – reach out for support! This is what we live for – gently testing limits and finding creative ways to accomplish goals!
Carol Hurst, LVT, CVPM, CVJ, CCFP
Leadership Success Coach & POD Success Coach