“I am ONLY running a half marathon this week.”
“I am JUST a beginner.”
“It’s JUST a LITTLE sprint triathlon.”
“I would love to join, BUT I probably couldn’t keep up with you guys.”
“I don’t have one of those fancy bikes.”
“Thanks, but I have so much more to lose.”
“Have I reminded you lately that I’m not fast?”
I have heard it a million times from my husband, gently correcting me and telling me how proud he is of me; that I am “doing fantastic.” I hear it from my guy friends that I always worry only run with me to humor me; “you’re doing great.” But something about being called out by a coach you really respect hit me like a lightning bolt. He did it so perfectly, so respectfully, but in a way that told me that he was serious and not just humoring my lack of self-confidence.
“Let’s remove that limiting language. You’re going with the flow, so just enjoy the journey and see where it takes you.”
“Limiting language.” Wow, I hadn’t heard it that way before. It’s always been “don’t be so hard on yourself.” Which, let’s be real, is code for “stop it, you’re fine, insert gratuitous comment and eye roll here.”
I’m a slow learner and it’s take a few weeks for this to sink in, but I see it everywhere now. I have observed it in almost every interaction I have had. I am constantly limiting myself by subconsciously telling myself that I’m not enough. I see it in all of my friends, too. We are always putting ourselves down in that stealthy way and we shouldn’t be. We like to think that we are telling ourselves that we are enough, but then that little demon that sits on the left shoulder whispers in our ear the complete opposite. It whispers those stupid words: ONLY, JUST, BUT.
When we limit our language, we limit what we are capable of.
Enough! I am making the commitment to stop my limiting language NOW. I am proud of what I can accomplish. I am not in competition with anyone, not even myself. I am not who I was yesterday, three months ago, or three years ago. I am choosing to live in the present and find the joy and satisfaction in doing exactly what my body, and my mind, allows today. It doesn’t mean I don’t have goals. On the contrary! But by releasing myself from the chains of “not enough,” I will build a far better foundation with which to reach those goals because I will have the confidence that I CAN.
So my challenge to all of my girlfriends – remove your limiting language and let your truths shine on their own merit. Own it all and be joyous in what your body can accomplish today, because seriously, we are all doing truly epic stuff.
“I am running 13.1 miles this week!”
“I am so excited to learn something new!”
“I am training to swim, bike and run – all in the same race!”
“Thanks for the run, guys!”
“I am squeezing every ounce of awesomeness out of this bike!”
“Thanks for the compliment, I’m working hard!”
“Hey Coach, watch me fly…”