Week 17: Discover what you’re made of

I think many of us get to a certain point where we start saying, ‘Oh no, I couldn’t do that’ or ‘I’d never do that’ when actually if we really wanted to, most of us could.

Take for example, running. Four years ago, you’d be lucky to get me to go on a 1 mile jog. Now I have done a 5k race and have signed up this year for a 5k and 10k race for charity. Thinking that 10k was probably my limit, I surprised myself when I managed an hour and a half of pounding the pavements one evening last week, totalling a nice 13k. Yes, I was tired afterwards and my legs ached for a few days but I felt so proud of myself and I now know that I can do it, you just have to put your mind to it.

Sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and take your positive attitude to the max. When you give all you’ve got, you get back everything you have. It’s the same with people, another thing I’ve discovered this week. Some people can annoy you, frustrate you or upset you but often it’s more to do with how you interpret their actions, rather than them doing it with deliberate intent.

To get round this, I decided to take on the mantra of treating people how you wish to be treated. Instead of me moping around being annoyed or upset by someone, I started to stand in their shoes and think about how I would like the other person to respond and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the more I saw the best in their actions, the more rewards I reaped. No longer was I frustrated when someone didn’t reply to my text, instead when they did reply I was glad rather than annoyed. Subsequently I didn’t then ignore them for days, I replied to them in a really positive way.

Admittedly, sometimes it’s the last thing you feel like doing. We’re only human after all and we have emotions which we have to deal with. Stepping away and seeing the bigger picture makes you less self-absorbed and therefore able to appreciate everything a bit more. In turn, I felt like my self-esteem was growing, I was being the better person here. It was my friendship which would suffer as a result, or, as with the running, without trying you never know.

That is the big take-away message of this week – if you don’t try, you’ll never know.

In the words of Nora Roberts:

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”

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