In between sets, is when it hit me.
Not the kind of sets that roll in while surfing, but the sets you complete when pumping some iron 🙂 .
I was at the gym, yes, there are actual gym’s in tropical paradise. I should say SCORCHING hot gym. The thermometer attached to the wall adjacent to the blasting air conditioner read 90 degrees. Yes, with the air conditioner on, the temperature in which I was working out was 90 degrees. (Move over hot yoga, now we have hot weight training and metabolic conditioning…ha!)
Often times, when I am working out or moving my body I get insights. Does this ever happen to you? They just come to me. I am not sure if these insights come when I am in “flow” or if I have somehow managed to disconnect from the constant chatter in my head, but either way they arise and I love it.
Earlier in the day I had been thinking about a potential life-changing situation that would majorly change up my day-to-day. Actually, I wasn’t just thinking about it. More accurately, I was worrying, stressing, and fretting about all of the what-ifs, unknowns, and unforeseen circumstances that could be coming my way.
Some of those thoughts were still whirling around my mind when I started my workout. And just like lava exploding from an erupting volcano I could feel a wave of unwanted feelings flowing out of my mind. Doubt, fear, and every other insecurity I thought I had gotten over like 10 years ago was bubbling up.
In my panic, I thought, what the hell is happening here? Why am I having all these uncomfortable feelings? I thought “I am too old, too wise, too experienced, too (fill in the blank) for this to be happening“.
And that’s when my insight hit me…
True Confidence comes from mastering how we navigate our own personal interior landscape.
In the face of all the uncomfortable fear based emotions, what do you do with them? Do you let them take over your mind? Do you let them change your behavior? Do you let them paralyze you?
Do you recognize fear for what it is – a natural and programmed response of our brain that has had evolutionary utility, but doesn’t always serve us in our day-to-day life?
It seems like somehow we all got the message that once you’ve mastered confidence you NO longer experience insecurity, self doubt, fear, and uncomfortable emotions. That somehow those uncomfortable feelings we all hate to deal with will suddenly disappear, go away, and never show their face again.
Did you ever believe this? I know I sure did.
I’ve definitely made a few moves in my life that have inspired loads of uncomfortable emotions. Did I mention leaving my plush and cushy career & life in San Francisco to move to Costa Rica solo? But no matter how many times I have overcome my fear, self doubts, or even insecurities – I notice they never completely go away.
But I find there is good news.
For me, what has strengthened over time is my ability to navigate my emotional terrain better.
You can get better with practice. Just like you build a muscle or improve at a sport, you can also build your inner strength.
Two tools that have helped me become better.
1) A 10-minute mindfulness practice. I do it daily as part of my morning routine. This practice has helped me disconnect from my feelings and thoughts and observe them more easily. Instead of letting them control me or my mind space I feel better equipped to choose how I process them. This has been hugely powerful. (Try out headspace, it is what I use – it’s free).
2) Movement in Nature. Like I said exercise naturally brings forth insights and a deeper awareness that informs my perspective in a positive way. Moving – whether it be walking, running, or swimming outside in expansive, open space can’t help but not alter your disposition. Just these simple adjustments in how we view things can make a big difference.
Now I would love to hear from you – what do you do to gain perspective when you have a difficult and emotionally charged situation you are facing? What has helped you gain insight and move past your fears?
Post your response here.