By Linda Salazar
A couple of weeks ago I did a 40 mile walk over a two day period with the Avon Breast Cancer Walk Organization. It was by far one of the more challenging experiences of my life both physically and mentally. It was also an experience that really solidified for me that by continuously putting one foot in front of the other, we can move through any challenge in life we are faced with and reach our ultimate destination.
As I approached the 16 mile mark on day one, with 10 more miles to go and the temperature at 102 degrees, I wasn’t so sure I was going to make it. My mood shifted from feeling empowered to feeling frustrated and defeated. I could hear my gremlin telling me, You don’t have to go on, you walked far enough for one day. Go ahead and ask the support van to pick you up and take you to the campground where you’re spending the night. The more I listened to this voice, the more I believed it was time to give up. I shared these thoughts with the friend I was walking with and she was having similar thoughts. The more we came up with all the excuses why it would be okay to give up the harder it became to keep on walking.
When we came to a traffic light one of the people with the support team was there to spray us with water and encourage us on. We told him our concerns and he asked us a very simple question. You’ve come this far, you’re past the halfway point, when you wake up tomorrow, do you still think you’ll feel that stopping now was the right thing for you to do? That got my attention and shut my Gremlin up for a second. Then he asked, Are you truly physically unable to go on or are you just feeling more mentally defeated. At that point I wanted to tell him he was nuts. We’ve been walking 16 miles in this heat, of course we’re physically defeated! But the truth was, it was more mental than physical. My friend and I had trained for this walk and below the voice of my Gremlin, we knew we would be disappointed in ourselves if we didn’t walk the whole 40 miles. So we simply stepped off the curb and created a whole new dialogue between us while we put one foot in front of the other taking us to our final destination.
There are always going to be times in your life with certain situations when you really believe you just can’t go on any more, as though there’s nothing left in you to keep you moving forward. The truth is, there is. There’s much more than you may realize in that moment of frustration, anger, sadness or physical pain. When you’re willing to dig a little deeper into your being, to get beyond the voice that seems so right in the moment, there is another voice that knows better. A voice that knows your truth and your greatest desire. That’s the voice you want to pay attention to.
Asking yourself questions is a great way to reach that voice. When you’re ready to throw in the towel here’s some questions to ask; Will this decision bring me closer to my dreams? Am I robbing myself of my life energy or adding to it? Am I focusing on what’s right or what’s wrong? How can I gently help myself through this? Who might I talk to, to help inspire me forward?
There are many questions you can continue to ask yourself, but the point is to help yourself shift from that defeated feeling by asking the empowering questions and then just put one foot in front of the other.
Certified Personal Life Coach, Author, Speaker
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Copyright 2003, Linda Salazar all right reserved. This newsletter may be reproduced in its entirety as long as all credits are included.