My best friend Melissa was my idol. She was an incredible athlete, student and friend. She could beat any boy or girl at our school in long distance races. She could do more pull ups then all the girls in those agonizing physical education tests we had to endure in gym class. Her slender but strong arms propelled her up the climbing rope over and over again while I barely got up half way.
It was o.k. though because she was my friend and I had no need to compete with her.
As spring approached that year, we were introduced to sprints in gym class. I wasn’t full of dread at the idea of this challenge as at least the pain would be short lived.
We lined up, Melissa next to me. I anticipated the familiar experience of watching her strong legs get further and further away from me as she blasts off. The whistle blew and the whole class was running now.
To my surprise, I realized that I wasn’t so bad at this. I was actually passing runners. I was even keeping up with Melissa!
Oh what joy! I felt a flash of success I had not in any physical activity. I never knew that I could run this fast if it was just for a short distance.
Then the big moment, I passed Melissa. I was winning!
Suddenly my body became weak and gave out. In what felt like slow motion, I dived to the ground, letting all the runners pass me by. I wasn’t injured, although I told my gym teacher I was.
The notion that I could beat Melissa in a race was the epitome of success and I couldn’t handle it.
I think about that experience a lot in my life. That in an instance, as if someone else was calling the shots, I knocked myself down out of fear of success.
I now recognize that these disabling fears and thoughts are our limiting beliefs, our negative self talk, and our saboteur.
It’s human to have them but it is also possible to recognize and shift them when they pop up.
Has a similar experience ever happened to you?
Would love to hear your story. . .