One of the things I love about this running malarkey is that I am learning so much about who I am and what I am capable of doing. By running the marathon I have done something that I never thought I would be able to do. And I am quite chuffed with myself for doing it too.
But, that doesn’t mean that I am fearless or that I can leap tall mountains in a single bound. Like anyone else I still doubt myself at times.
My last relationship was (I’ve been reliably informed by those in the know) what would be termed as *emotionally abusive*. Lovely guy, but riddled with insecurities. As we all are to an extent. It is how these insecurities manifest themselves, and how we deal with them that’s the important thing.
We met in 2000 and he fell for the sparky little dynamo I was back then; up for a crack, ready for anything and with an answer for absolutely bloody everything. During the eight years that we were together he proactively chipped away at my confidence, my ideas and ambitions were regularly rubbished and any self-belief I had disappeared in a puff of smoke.
By the time our relationship had run out of steam I was a shadow of my former self, I wouldn’t say boo to a goose and in general felt wholly inadequate. Nothing I did was ever right or good enough. Self-doubt was my best friend. It wasnt much fun. And neither was I.
Over the last three years my friends and family have played their part (admirably I might add too) in helping me get back to the Mel that I am now. However I’m not perfect or remotely fixed. Doubt and fear creep back in on occasion.
Last week, I was talking to my personal trainer – JC (bless him) – he’s very young, but on occasion he talks like a very wise old dude. I was regaling him with anecdotes about my mini marathon adventure – the highs and lows, what I’ve learnt, what I’d never do again and all that stuff. He reminded me that I should be very proud of myself, but went on to point out that I could do a lot more then I gave myself credit for. That fear, not inadequacy or inability, was ultimately what was holding me back.
I caved in and confessed all at that point. Like most people I am afraid of failure. Default operating mode is if I don’t step outside of my comfort zone, then I can’t fail. Right? (Crap female logic I know.)
I’m not unique in the fact that I am afraid of letting people down. A few people told me after the marathon that they have been inspired by me. Some are still watching my progress with my mad hair brained ideas – e.g. chucking myself out of a plane. Truth be told I am frightened of failing each and every one of them.
The thing is, if I don’t believe in myself, then the only person that I am failing, is myself. If I am not pushing myself a little harder each day and taking steps outside of my comfort zone, then all I am doing is spinning my tyres. Never moving forward.
Is there a conclusion here? Well no, not really. I know what I need to do. I come across lots of people who are also in a similar situation – self doubt has reared its ugly head for some reason and they are dealing with the fall out. I don’t have a magic answer, but I do know that if I believe in myself then I will accomplish more than I ever imagined.