Do you ever wonder why some things are just so fucking hard to do? I don’t mean physical challenges like running a marathon or lifting super heavy weights. I’m talking things like saying no to food and sticking to your training plan beyond the first week.
What I’m exploring on the podcast this week is the idea of our beliefs, and specifically, our limiting beliefs. They’re the culprits when it comes to not going after our dream goal and struggling to stick to our plans. I’m diving deep into how they get formed and you’ll be glad to know there’s good news involved too – you can change them.
Tune in for the lowdown on our beliefs! They’re always there and they pass by unconsciously in our decision-making process, but hopefully, the tips you’ll learn in this episode will help you evaluate and change the ones that are stopping you in your tracks!Deciding on purpose what you want to believe about yourself so that you can feel the way you want and take the actions you desire is the ultimate in freedom and power. Click To Tweet
What You’ll Learn From this Episode:
- Why we struggle to stick to tasks we have to do.
- How our belief systems start to form.
- Why your thoughts are really important when trying to achieve a goal.
- How a limiting belief is not a fact.
- Why doing thought downloads are key to changing your beliefs.
- How to identify your limiting beliefs.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
If you have any questions you’d like answered on the show, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join the Not Your Average Runner Private Facebook Community
- Join Run Your Best Life to get exclusive content from a podcast accessible just for members!
- Not Your Average Runner Instagram
- Erin Condren
- Ep #33: How to Coach Yourself
- Ep #51: Bound and Determined – A Story of Transformation with Shawnna Dancer
- Shoe Cycle
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to The Not Your Average Runner Podcast. If you’re a woman who is midlife and plus sized and you want to start running but don’t know how, or if it’s even possible, you’re in the right place. Using proven strategies and real-life experience, certified running and life coach Jill Angie shares how you can learn to run in the body you have right now.
Hey rebels, you are listening to episode number 54 of The Not Your Average Runner Podcast. I’m your host, Jill Angie, and today we are talking about what is holding you back from achieving your goals. Whether it’s a running goal or whether it’s something else, I promise it is an easy fix when you understand what’s going on.
But before we get into that, if you’ve been running for a while, and I mean whether it’s been a few weeks or months, or even years, and you are wondering what your next step should be, I would actually love to chat with you about it. You can sign up for a quick 10-minute call to discuss your current running situation and where you think you should be going from there and I’ll give you some input on that, and we can talk about whether it makes sense for us to work together to get you to that place.
So you can do that at www.talktojill.com. It’s a quick 10-minute call, it’s absolutely free, and we’ll just chat. We’ll get to know each other. I look forward to hearing from you. You can sign up for that at www.talktojill.com.
Alright, folks, it is time for the warm up, and today’s quote is one that you’ve heard a million times before, but it’s a good one so I’m going to bring it up again. Here it is: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” I’m talking right to the perfectionists on this one, and you know who you are. You’re the one who thinks if you can’t adhere to your training plan perfectly, you should just throw the whole thing out the window, right?
Or if the breathing is too hard on your first run, you obviously aren’t meant to be a runner and you quit. Basically, you’re the person who thinks that everything should be easy for you the first time, and if it isn’t, then you’re not meant to do it, right? Or that you quit. You think everything should be easier than it is.
Don’t be that person. If you want to be a runner, you need to be willing to suck at it first. And if you want to be a great runner, you need to be willing to suck at it for a really long time before you become great. That is the secret. And that’s actually my segue into the meat of our workout today.
So have you ever wondered why some things are just so fucking hard to do? And like, I’m not talking about physical things like running faster or learning to do a box jump on a 24-inch platform. I mean the weird stuff like sticking with your training plan beyond the first week, or speaking up at work when you know the committee is doing the wrong thing, or saying no to someone who’s offering you food even though you don’t want it because you know that you’re going to get this whole argument of if you love me you’ll eat it, blah, blah, blah.
Those are the things that seem so hard in the moment, and it can be really frustrating. Because it seems like it should be pretty easy to speak up and tell people that they’re doing the wrong thing at work, or to stick with your training plan beyond the first week, right? Like, you made the decision to do it, it should be easy.
But somehow, these things are really difficult. And here’s the thing: I know somebody that signs up for half marathons all the time. Like, at least six per year, and they’re usually in fabulous locations with amazing finishers medals and she says to herself every single time, “This is the time I’m going to train properly. Really do it right, really enjoy my race knowing that I gave it 100%.” She says that every time.
And then every single time she blows off her training, and then on race day, she really, really suffers. It’s really hard, her body hurts, it takes her weeks to recover from those races. Now, you might think she’s kind of crazy to do this over and over again, right? Like, what is that quote, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
But I am sure that there is something in your life that goes exactly the same way. Maybe it’s not half marathons. Maybe it’s resolving to get more sleep or to do a thought download every morning or to do your fucking strength training like your coach keeps telling you to do and you know who you are.
So what happens is you make a solid resolution, you commit, you say this is it, no more fucking around, I’m going to do it, and then a week later, you’ve either given up or you’ve made a bunch of excuses why you haven’t even started yet. And then you feel terrible about it and you double down on your resolution, right? You’re like, okay, I just need the right running journal with fancy pens and stickers from Erin Condren.
Or I need to find the right Facebook group, or I need to join the right fitness class, or get a workout buddy. We have all these external things that we think are going to make the difference for us. But still, you can’t seem to make it stick whatever it is. We all do this. everybody has their thing that is hard to implement, and even if it’s an easy thing like getting more sleep or drinking more water, I mean, seriously, how hard is it to drink more fucking water, right?
Fill a glass, drink some. It’s not rocket science. But we struggle with it. It’s crazy. So the problem is the humans, we have brains. We have these magical, amazing, clever brains and honestly, every problem we have in our lives is because of our thoughts in our brains. When you’re a tiny baby, your brain is like a blank notebook. And then every time you have an interaction with somebody, your brain takes notes.
What they said, what they did, how they looked at you, how you felt during those interactions. And in the beginning, this is all just data. The brain is like, this is the circumstance, I’m recording this information. But then over time, as more data is received and recorded, and as your brain begins to develop, it starts to evaluate that data and draw conclusions and belief systems begin to form based on all the data that you’ve been taking in.
And at this point, your brain isn’t coming up with its own ideas. It’s taking on the ideas and information that it’s getting from other people, getting from the rest of the world. Now, this process begins pretty much the minute you’re born and it continues throughout your life like right up to this very second, you’re doing that right now. You are listening to this podcast, you’re taking in the information, and your brain is deciding what to do with it.
You’re constantly evaluating the world, entering the data into your belief system to decide what to do. This is a great system. Really, it is. Like, your brain is just a super computer. But it does have one major flaw. Just like a super computer, if the brain gets shitty data, it will draw shitty conclusions, and what happens is we create limiting belief systems. And this, my rebels, this is why we struggle.
Because a limiting belief is something that keeps you from doing the things you want to do because your brain believes it’s unsafe in some weird way. Or even though you desperately want the thing, your brain has a contrary belief that is so strong you don’t even realize you’re sabotaging yourself.
So I want to go back to the woman I mentioned above, who signs up for half marathons all the time, then she doesn’t train and then she gets really frustrated with herself. Here’s her limiting belief: I know what to do, I just don’t do it. She believes this so hard about herself and then she beats herself up about it all the time because she thinks it’s a circumstance.
I have brown eyes, I’m five foot seven, I know what to do, I just don’t do it, she thinks it’s a fact about herself. And it’s not. It’s just a belief that she has. It’s something – it’s a thought that she has thought so often, she has repeated it so many times in her mind that it has become a belief and it has turned into a fact in her eyes. Like, she no longer sees that as a thought or an opinion or optional. She just thinks it’s a fact about herself.
And here’s the deal: I actually was on a quick 10-minute call with somebody earlier today and she said the exact same thing too. I said, “What can I help you with today?” And she said, “Well, I know what to do, I just don’t do it, and I struggle with this and that and I’m so frustrated because I know what to do, I just don’t do it.”
And this is one of the most common things I hear as a life coach and a running coach. So here’s the thing: when you repeat that thought to yourself over and over again, we have a feeling every time we hear that sentence in our brain. And our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings drive our actions, so what you think really, really matter, because your thoughts are making you act in a certain way through your feelings.
So if you believe that you know what to do but you just don’t do it, if you keep thinking that thought, every time you hear that sentence in your brain, you get a feeling of hopelessness. And when you feel hopeless, the action you take is very unlikely to be going out to run. So you’re thinking the thought, “I know what to do, I just don’t do it,” you feel hopeless, and you just skip your run that night or you don’t get up in the morning, whatever it is.
And the result of doing that over and over and over again is that your training doesn’t get done and you have more evidence for your limiting belief. So it just gets more entrenched. You have more evidence to say to somebody, “Well, I know what to do, I just don’t do it. See, I’ve got a whole blank training journal to prove it.”
But here is the thing: beliefs are learned. Beliefs are not physics and they’re not gravity. They’re not data at all. They are just years and years of practicing the same thought or versions of that thought until you craft this entire belief system that you have about yourself. Whether it’s something that somebody told you over and over and over again when you were a kid or something you came up with on your own or like, even something that you’ve read.
If you are somebody, like I was as a teenager, I read Cosmopolitan and Glamour and all those magazines and so I saw over and over again what the media was telling me was a great body, was the body I should try to attain. So I developed a belief system because I kept thinking the thought, “Oh, I’m supposed to look like these models. Oh, I’m supposed to look like these models.”
I learned to think that way. I was not born thinking that way. And so when we practice the same thought over and over again, again, whether it’s something external or something we came up with on our own, we create these beliefs. And here’s the good news: so right now you’re thinking, “Great, what the fuck am I supposed to do now? I’ve learned all these beliefs, they’re creating results that I don’t want in my life.”
The good news is if you created the beliefs in the first place by learning them, by hearing things over and over again, by taking those on board, you can create new beliefs the exact same way. It’s like magic. Like, literally, the same process that you use to create the old beliefs, you can use to create the new ones. And the bonus is if you’re doing it on purpose, first of all, it happens a lot faster because you’re actively working on changing your beliefs, and you also get to pick what you want to believe about yourself.
When you were a kid, you didn’t get to pick that stuff, right? It was handed to you by everybody that interacted with you, all the adults, all the other kids in your life. You were handed your belief system. Now, as a grown up, you get to decide what your belief system is, and that is so, so powerful. Deciding on purpose what you want to believe about yourself so that you can feel the way you want and take the actions you desire is the ultimate in freedom and power.
So a limiting belief is a thought or collection of thoughts that you’ve repeated a million times. A limiting belief is just a belief that’s not working for you, that keeps you from getting what you want. You might have belief systems that are really working for you, right? Like if you believe you are smart, if you believe you are talented, if you believe you are super sexy, if you believe you’re smart, you’re going to be the person that does smart things, right?
If you believe you’re not smart, you’re going to limit yourself and make mistakes and do like – it’s counterintuitive but like, believing you’re not smart, you’re just going to find more evidence for not being smart. Believing you’re not meant to be a runner, you’re going to find more evidence to prove that you’re right. Nobody likes to be wrong. Our brains are constantly looking for evidence that we’re right.
So a limiting belief is just a belief that’s getting in your way. It’s really simple. Here is even more good news: this means that you are not fundamentally flawed. It means that you do not lack willpower. It means that you’re not lazy. I promise you, all of those things are true. You just have a limiting belief system that is driving different actions than the ones you want. A belief system that is keeping you stuck.
So examples of limiting beliefs include you have to be thin to be a runner, you have to be thin to be worthy of love, it’s one of my favorites. If you don’t do it perfectly, it’s not worth doing. You’re not smart enough to apply for a better job. You’re not pretty enough to get the partner of your dreams. You’re lazy and you’ll never amount to anything. I know what to do, I just don’t do it.
Those are all belief systems that are going to limit you. And so if you heard yourself in any of those, I want you to really take note and pay attention to the rest of the podcast. If you didn’t hear your limiting belief in there, then I’m going to give you some ideas on how to identify that in a couple minutes.
Okay, so your inner mean girl is full of limiting beliefs. Everything she says is limited fucking belief, honestly. So do you remember the thought downloads that we talked about in episode 33? That was one the one where I taught you how to coach yourself. And if you haven’t listened to that episode, after you finish this one, I want you to go back and listen to it right away because it’s really, really powerful.
So those thought downloads, you need to start doing those and pay attention. Look at what are the limiting beliefs that are showing up over and over again, and I promise you, they’ll show up every single day. You can spot them pretty easily. They usually start with something like, “I always…” or, “I never…” or, “I am so…” fill in the blank.
They’re sort of these sweeping generalizations about why you are such a failure in whatever area it is that you’re unhappy with. So I want you to start doing the downloads every day. Watch your patterns, look for the limiting beliefs. Look for the thoughts that are getting in your way. Challenge them. Look at them and say, is that really a circumstance? Because sometimes, again, like my friend earlier who says, “Oh, I know what to do, I just don’t do it,” she just thinks that’s a fact.
She doesn’t understand that it’s a belief that she has about herself that she is causing to come true. So I’m going to say it again. Your limiting beliefs are not facts. They are thoughts. Facts are things like I ran my last 5K in 52 minutes. Thoughts are things like, I am so slow. And beliefs are things like, real runners are fast and don’t take walk breaks so I’ll never be a real runner. That sweeping generalization.
So once you have identified your limiting beliefs, you can decide whether they’re helping you. Now, the short answer is they’re not. They’re absolutely not. But sometimes we can’t see that in the moment. So asking yourself the question, is this belief helping me or not, helps you see that they’re optional, which is – like I said, it’s not always obvious when you’re stuck in your own vortex of thoughts. When you’re stuck in the middle of your own story, you can’t really see it for what it is.
So ask that question of yourself. Then ask whether there is something else that you could believe that might be more helpful and less limiting. Try a few on for size, practice them over and over. And I want to challenge you to practice your beliefs every single day for like, 30 days and see what happens.
That’s exactly what Shawnna did – Shawnna from episode 51, and it changed everything for her. Every single day she decided on purpose what she wanted to believe about herself and she just read those beliefs, she said them out loud, she just checked in with them multiple times a day. So give yourself 30 days of really practicing your new beliefs hard and see what happens.
Alright rebels, we are heading into the cool down now, which means it is time for my latest obsession. And this week it is just this simple, fun little app I found that tracks your shoe usage. And I am obsessed. So it’s called Shoe Cycle and what you do is you take a picture of your shoes, all of your running shoes or whatever shoes you want to track, take a picture of them and then every time you put miles of those shoes, you put it in the app.
And if you have Strava, it actually will connect to Strava. I think otherwise you have to do it manually. But it’ll track your miles every time you run in those shoes and then it actually tells you where you are in your cycle. And I think it gets a bunch of basic data for you so it knows whether you’re somebody who’s going to get 200 miles out of your shoes or 400 miles or whatever.
It tells you when they’re running out. It gives you like, you’ve got about 50 miles left on these shoes, you’ve got about 20 miles left on these shoes, you’ve gone over the lifetime of these shoes by 10 miles. And you put in the data – you take a picture but you also say this is the model, this is the year, this is the brand and all of that.
So it’s a really sweet little app. It’s free, it’s super easy to use, and honestly, what I love the most about it is you actually have a picture of what your shoes look like when they were brand new so you can tell how much wear they’ve had just by comparing to the picture. Because a lot of times we don’t realize how much wear is on our shoes just by looking at them, but if you look at a picture of them brand new you’re like, oh my gosh, they’ve really worn out.
So I think this app can have a huge impact on your running because so often we don’t realize our shoes are wearing out until we start feeling aches and pains that weren’t there before. And then we go to the doctor because we think there’s something wrong with us when really like, we just need new shoes. And your shoes should be changed out like, maybe every 300 miles.
Some people think, oh, I should be able to use them for a year. Hell no. And if you’re training for a half marathon, you’re going to put that number of miles on it just during training, and that’s only if you wear those shoes for running. If you wear those shoes for walking around or like, doing things around the house or going to the mall, you’re putting even more miles on them. So it’s really important to keep track of that and to change them out when they’re due rather than trying to make them last as long as possible because you can actually create injuries if you don’t take care of your shoes, if you don’t switch them out as much as you should.
So I want you to go check out that app. It’s called Shoe Cycle. We’ll have a link in the show notes, and that is it for this week, my friends. Everything I mentioned in this episode can be found in the show notes at notyouraveragerunner.com/54. And again, if you want to figure out what the next step is for you and your running, sign up for a 10-minute call with me at talktojill.com. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.
Thanks for listening to this episode of The Not Your Average Runner Podcast. If you liked what you heard and want more, head over to www.notyouraveragerunner.com to download your free one-week jumpstart plan and get started running today.
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