Over the last few weeks, I’ve been increasing my running miles each week. I started at 2 miles and have worked (and fought) up to 7.36 miles. Last week, I set out to run 8 miles but I fell short. I still increased from 7 miles the week before to 7.36 but I didn’t hit my goal. I was a little frustrated. But I knew immediately that my mind game was not as tight as it should have been. As the miles increased and the pain of sore muscles set in, my mind began to wander. I lost control of thinking “I’m going to run 8 miles.” As I turned the corner and realized I had only run 6 miles and then 6.25 and then 6.75, I allowed myself to “settle” and say, I just want to make it home. My goal fell from doing 8 miles to making it home. I detoured from my route to complete 8 and finished at 7.36.
What did I learn? The mind is a powerful organ. It controls our actions. Once we lose control of the positive thoughts, we are left to contend with the negative thoughts. I remember while I was running, having images of me finishing my run and going straight to bed. I was so fatigued and tired that all I could focus on was getting home to my bed. I lost the vision of finishing my route and soaring to the “real” finish line. I had given up and mentally quit.
Next time you are working towards a goal, be prepared for the mental fight and challenge. Know that your mind will play tricks on you, but YOU are in control of what you believe. You can overcome every negative thought. You can finish on top! Conquering the battle of the mind may play out differently for you than it does for me, but find out what works for you. Have a plan before you start. Once you start the battle, that is not the time to develop a plan. Once you have a plan to achieve your goal, go for it. Put in the work and allow the power of your mind to propel you forward. Have your mental game together.
*Coletta Jones Patterson is a writer, motivational speaker, life and business coach who is passionate about helping others get unstuck. Her latest book, “Beyond Stuck: Creating the Life You Want” is available on Amazon.