By Felicia Mattson
I’ve always been a goal setter. I want to do and achieve and shine but as I took some time to reflect on where I was, I felt a bit stuck – without a clear path to “unstick” myself. I needed to make a change but how? Brent and I initially connected because I thought I wanted an exercise accountability coach. Let me just tell you, it surpassed that within the first meeting. He has guided me to realize some of my deepest intentions and has always encouraged me to dig for what I want. Nothing has changed in terms of the energy around me, but everything has changed in terms of what I give out. Through our partnership I am working on reaching my HUGE career goals, building strong and loving relationships, and truly feeling self-love. Brent has been my coach, teammate, and refuge.
Last summer Brent told me to write down a BIG goal. I did. In my journal I penned something that scared me: 13.1 miles. As I trained for my run that would take me across the borough of Brooklyn in New York City I came away with six HUGE learnings.
1. Looking Back Holds You Back
Getting stuck in “victim” mode, living in the past, or harboring anger and resentment will only hold you back. If you are not looking forward (even in challenging times) filled with positive energy to propel you, you’ll never get where you want to go. This came to me when I was tackling a 12 mile run on a rocky and uneven path. I had this moment where it became so clear that if I kept looking back (out of fear for what was behind me) I would probably fall on my face. It was a revelation that I had to let go of some “stuff” if I wanted to evolve into the best version of me – and the life I imagined. My take away? Take time to reflect on your past but remove the personal emotion out of those events. Instead of thinking about how you felt at the time, become a totally removed observer. This can be especially beneficial when you’re “changing lanes” and making big life decisions. Like running on rocky terrain in the middle of a busy city, glance behind you so you don’t get “tripped up” and quickly refocus on the road ahead.
2. It Takes a Village and a Coach
Brent helped me realize that my intentions stretched far beyond physical fitness. We set times for our calls and kept those appointments. He held me accountable in my physical and emotional journey but ensured that it was led by my voice and intentions. All of these conversations opened the door for ME to realize some of my self-limiting patterns. When we released the old, good things started flooding in. Running a race I had only dreamed of, living in the moment and holding firm to my intentions during stressful times are all things Brent and I have worked on.
3. Write it Down, Record It, Hold Yourself Accountable
To reach huge STRETCH goals you need to have a clear path to get there. Want to get out of debt? Open yourself up to meeting someone new? Be the boss someday? One of the first things Brent asked me to do was journal what we had discussed and send it to him weekly. This was the only reason I stuck to my training plan and crossed the finish line on October 8, 2016. I had weekly mini-goals that folded into bigger ones. My advice: write down your intentions first, follow up with actionable goals, and take time to reflect on why it’s important to you.
4. Tune Into Your Inner Dialog
When you’re hitting the pavement on one of those long runs there’s a lot of opportunity to listen to your still, small voice. When I tuned in a few weeks into my training I realized some thoughts circling around me were limiting. I tapped into conversations where I worried I was a slow runner, not good enough, fit enough, perfect enough… it was exhausting. I had no idea things were manifesting over me with a negative tone. No wonder I felt exhausted at times. What do I recommend? Start to eaves drop on yourself. Let go of the hurtful dialog and tell yourself you CAN and you WILL – and watch the shift it makes in your life. Runners will tell you that when nothing changes physically the difference between success and failure is a positive inner dialog.
5. Lean Into Yourself
Even with an enviable “squad” around you there are storms in life you’ll have to endure alone. Unfortunately and undoubtedly humans will let you down at some point along the way. This came to me while I was grinding through a dozen miles with the sun beating down on me, legs on fire, sweat trickling into my eyes. No one else could do that run for me. No one else could endure the discomfort in my place. I had to get those miles in if I wanted to finish the race. But wow! What an amazing life lesson it would turn out to be. This was one of my most powerful breakthroughs. It taught me about mental strength and my ability to power through discomfort.
6. Strengthen Your Self Control “Muscle”
We’ve all heard about the mind body connection but it’s amazingly powerful when you feel it happen in your own life. For me, committing to a training plan meant that I had to let go of things that weren’t compatible with my goal. I had to change my social habits (bye, wine) and say no to things that I used to be up for. The good news? That self-control, perseverance, and will power that I cultivated during this time helped me build my character. I am more mindful, aware when I’m overextending myself, and more clued-in to self-love and care. This practice has helped me stop and release some of life’s little annoyances without passing them on to others – and it’s paid off in a big way in my relationships.
My intention is for you gain something from these six learnings, to be motivated, and no matter what energy you’re taking in – to put out LOVE. Love for yourself, those around you, and to spark greatness and joy in yourself and others.
It’s been incredibly powerful to work with such a gifted guru who has helped me grow and spread love and joy to others around me. Sound like something you want to focus on too?
I’ll leave you with this last thought: If you’re ready for a change, maybe it’s time for a coach.