Running. I have always said, and believed, I couldn’t run. I was too heavy and out of shape. Too lazy. Too accident prone. Too old. And because I said it, because I believed it, it was so. I’d quit. I’d give up on running, on myself, every. single. time. There was always some excuse – often a very good one! Sore knees, sick kids, husband seriously injured in an accident… But if you dig just beyond the surface of the excuse, you get to the real reason I’d quit: I never believed I could do it in the first place. The excuse was just proof to me of what I already believed. I had created, and was enslaved by, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a statement that becomes true because we already believe it to be so, so we act accordingly. I can’t run. I never stick to my diet. Losing weight is hard. If you believe it, you’re going to act like it’s true, and you’ll confirm your own expectations.
Sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! Self-fulfilling prophecies come in the positive variety, too!
I AM a runner. I CAN and WILL stick with this. I DO enjoy the challenge. It IS hard, but it’s getting easier. I am on week six of the Sisterhood’s virtual Couch to 5K. I have never, EVER, stuck with this program this long. What’s different this time? I believe I can do it. It’s really that simple. When I have those tough days, when I’m not sure how or when I’m going to fit a run in, I call on some of my Sisters to hold me accountable and to remind me that I don’t always have to be faster than last time, that conditions don’t have to be perfect, that this is worth the time to me. This is still a new belief for me, and I am thankful for those friends that are helping me to nurse it through its infancy.
I challenge you to turn your negative self-fulfilling prophecy into a positive one. Please share it with us in the comments. And if you need some help building that new belief, let us know that, too! We’d love to help you be an even more awesome YOU!
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