Resiliency: Talking Myself Through 13.1 Miles

We’ve all faced our fair share of challenges in life – whether they are personal, professional, or both! But what separates the “women” from the “girls”? How do we handle these challenges? What do we do to equip ourselves to face these challenges head on and overcome them? And when we fall, whether it’s a trip, a stumble, or a complete wipe out, how do we keep getting back up to move forward? Resiliency!

In Daniel Pink’s book, To Sell Is Human, he talks about four components to what he calls personal buoyancy. The first component is interrogative self-talk, which is what I’ll focus on in today’s blog.

Interrogative Self-Talk

For most of us, when we are preparing for a challenge, we begin by mentally preparing. We talk to ourselves. For instance, when I was training for my first half-marathon, I sought out every motivational quote there was!

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”

“Someone who is busier than you is running right now.”

There are dozens of them! They were the first thing I’d see when my alarm went off at 4:45 AM. I’d look at them as I was lacing up when it was still dark and 15 degrees outside. They were the last thing I would read before I went to bed.

But you know what? The dozens of quotes I looked at really aren’t what motivated me to keep training through all of my own personal speed bumps of exhaustion, winter colds, sore legs, blistered feet, frigid temps, and early rising. These basic declarative statements didn’t remind me of my abilities or my preparation. I needed to shift my thinking.

Can I Do This?

Daniel Pink suggests that there is a way to make our internal dialogue more useful and productive to help us be resilient, no matter the challenge. Begin by asking yourself, “Can I do this?” Can I run one more mile? Can I give that presentation? Can I hit my sales goals this month? Can I really do this?

And most often, the answer is reminiscent of Bob the Builder…”Yes, I can!” Shift your internal dialogue by answering with “yes” statements. Yes, I have trained for four months. Yes, I have the skills to accomplish my goal. Yes, I have the support of others if I need it. Yes, I care about others and the end product. Yes, I have the tools and resources to do an amazing job! Yes, I can!

And did I finish the half-marathon? Yes, I did!

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