Some Beliefs Have a ‘Best Before Date’
I had the chance to have a play in the surf yesterday with personal trainer and hugely experienced surfer, Kim Byrne from Saltwater Vitality. These chances don’t come up very often, so despite the sub arctic temperatures, I grabbed the opportunity and went for it.
On my way to meet up with Kim I noticed the adrenaline pumping, the excitement and the discomfort from the fear of getting outside of my comfort zone. So I did what I’m trained to do. Instead of avoiding the sensations that were going on in my body, I shifted my focus to them and got really curious about what was going on.
I felt the weight of my body, my hands on the steering wheel and got right into being present. Then I started listening to the self talk that was driving the fear. That’s when I realised that my negative self talk isn’t always driven by plain nastiness, instead it felt like it was being driven by a belief system that is so stuck in the ’70’s its paisley shirt and flares were embarrassing.
I’ve spent 18 months working hard on functional movement, agility, endurance and fear busting. I’ve climbed things, jumped from things, balanced on things and run distances and speeds that I never thought possible. My body has changed, my mindset has changed. The funny thing is, my beliefs around my athleticism haven’t. I found myself having an imaginary conversation with Kim so that she would lower her expectations of me. “Hi Kim, I just need to say that you’ll probably find this really frustrating because I have no upper body strength or agility and I’m not very strong or fit”. What? Who said that?
Maybe you were bought up in a family system that was encouraging and helped to form your self talk into a more aware and affirming voice that kept up with the times and is your own internal cheer leader. Great! If you weren’t though, if you’re internal dialogue is stuck in a negative time warp fixed firmly in the past where you weren’t encouraged or built up, I’ve got some good news. All you have to do is to become aware of the voice and its chatter and patterns. Listen without judgement, but question every sentiment that it espouses. Ask yourself is this true? Where’s the proof? Is this idea from now or from my past?
If the thoughts are true and they hit a raw nerve, then do something about it. If they’re not true, then have a laugh, smile kindly at your past their use by date beliefs and remind yourself of where you are really at. Simple.
I had an absolute blast in the surf yesterday. It was exciting, invigorating and I felt alive, young and liberated. Kim worked with my physical abilities and around any mechanical limitations. I gave it a good go and even stood up a couple of times.
Later that day Kim texted through a photo that her husband had taken of their beautiful daughter playing on the beach. There in the background, if you zoom in, is a fuzzy image of a middle aged woman standing on a surf board deeply thrilled and enjoying every minute.
This morning I’ve decided that from now on, I’m swapping out old paisley shirt for an updated version, I’m rerecording the soundtrack and if old flared pants tries to show up again, I’ll show the pictorial evidence of my actual ability, smile, wave goodbye and get on with enjoying this amazing life with all of its wonderful opportunities. .