As you may know I’ve been training to run a marathon in February. In preparation for the marathon I’ve begun doing a lot of long runs on the weekends, so I participated in a half marathon last weekend as part of my training program (if you want to read about it, or join me on my marathon quest, check out my Mama Marathoner’s blog!)
I went into this race thinking much differently than I did when I ran a half marathon a few years ago. This all began a few weeks earlier when I was coming in on the heels of a horrible run. You may hear of runners hitting a wall: I had slammed into it head first that morning, and didn’t think I would be able to continue. I wasn’t sure I’d make it home. I even began to question why I was even doing this in the first place.
And then it dawned on me: I was running because I love to run, pure and simple. If it turned into something that I loathed, it was time to quit.
That one thought changed the way that I view running –and that I train- for what I hope is forever. When I ran the half marathon this past weekend, I enjoyed it. I ditched the watch. I didn’t know what time it was when I started or how fast I was running. I left the pressure to break any time records at home.
When my mind began to start thinking more negative thoughts, such as oh my gosh I still have five miles to go, I turned that into something positive. I noticed how blue the sky was, and how the ocean sounded as it pounded the surf. I listened to people screaming encouragement (you are almost there, what an accomplishment!) and I watched the other runners, some of whom were having a difficult time, continue to jog one step after the other.
During my first long run since the race I began to question how I could apply this positive thinking to my business. How, when I began to feel overwhelmed, I could step back and turn my thoughts positive once again. We work hard in our companies to hold them together, and because we wear so many hats we become tired, overwhelmed and at times we begin to question why we are doing this. I wanted to figure out how to apply my training for the marathon to these negative thoughts during my business.
So I began to ask myself questions. Why did I open this company? Why do I want to continue this company? Why is it important that it succeed? I thought of times when I had been discouraged enough to discuss closing the doors with my husband, and I realized that the reason I don’t want to do that is because I really and truly love what I do and can’ t imagine NOT doing it.
I’ve had one time since that race and that long run when I’ve thought that perhaps I should pack it all up. It came in on the heels of something very positive, which I will write about in a later post. I considered all of the people who are out there doing what I am doing and I wondered why I should keep it up if I had so much competition.
Then, much like during the race, I pushed that thought from my mind. I stopped worrying about how many other people own the same type of company and instead thought that if so many other people are out there doing what I am doing then it must be a great field in which to be involved. Rather than worry about how much money I may make in the future, I patted my back for the money that I have been making up to this point.
If you begin to feel as though you are overwhelmed and unhappy, it is time to reevaluate what you are doing. Sometimes things become chores to us because we feel as though we have to do them. We forget why we enjoy doing them. If your job or business has become a burden, take a step back and reevaluate. When we start to look at the overall picture, rather than just the few steps we have in front of us, the steps we feel we may not be able to conquer, we can sometimes bring back our positive frame of mind.
In that last race, I got to mile 10 and knew I would make it to the finish line. My negative thoughts, any that might have been considering rearing their nasty heads, diminished as I realized my accomplishment.
In my company, I just reached the goal that I had set for myself to reach by the end of the year. I did so not by giving up when things got tough but by figuring out ways to deal with them and understanding why it is that I’m doing what I am doing, no matter how tiring it can be at times.
We are doing it because we want to. And when we stop wanting to, it is time to consider doing something else.
Have a great, productive week! And keep all of the people here in Southern California in your minds, as many have been moved from their homes or, sadly, do not have a home to return to when the fires burn out.