Open Source Athlete - January Edition

Sunday, 30th December 2012

Ultra Life Article written for O2 Magazine

Download the full article and Dec/Jan issue here

The Only Way to Fail is to Never Even Try

All to quickly 2012 is rapidly drawing to a close and soon we’ll be celebrating the New Year in. This is the ideal time to reflect on the past 12 months and consider what you have achieved, what you learnt and how you grew as a person. It’s the perfect opportunity to review the goals you set for yourself at the start of the year against what you actually accomplished, and to wonder whether these really pushed you and challenged you enough. The New Year is all about RESOLUTIONS – it’s the moment to set new goals for 2013.

In my observation of goal setting, I’ve noticed that most people set themselves either no personal goals at all, or really comfortable, achievable ‘mini’ goals. They don’t seem to want to challenge or stretch themselves beyond what they already do. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is because the majority of us fear FAILURE. At some point, somewhere in our early life, we decided that public failure was one of the worst things that could ever happen to us. That possibly we may die of the embarrassment and humiliation. This belief remains unexplored and unchallenged in adulthood, closely protected by our ego. It’s simply accepted and now we stay firmly in our comfort zone, but usually with a disquieting knowledge deep in our hearts that there’s got to be more to life…on occasion waking up with the question – Is this really all there is?

To quote a popular TV advert “That ain’t living!” I’m a permanent comfort zone avoider. Being outside my comfort zone is the place where I learn the most about myself, it’s where I feel the most alive. It’s here that I get an addictive buzz and where I glimpse who I really am. It’s never easy or plain sailing – it’s often painful, scary, emotional, difficult and complicated, and there’s never any guarantee that I will make it to the end. But that’s what makes the reward so significant. I don’t fear failure – there’s no such thing. There’s only an opportunity to learn and grow, to experiment and to have another go. What I really fear, is getting too comfy – I fear the comfort zone, the opportunities I’ll miss if I don’t even try.

Maybe next year you’d like to be fitter, leaner, healthier, stronger, belong to a group or be more social and setting a sporting goal is a means to an end for you, an extrinsic motivation.  That’s completely fine, but may I please, please challenge you to make a choice - choose to pick a goal that gets you out of your comfort zone and start your journey to find your true self.

You won't regret it!


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