1 October 2011

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Before I even placed my toe into the water this morning I had endured an incessant amount of negative thoughts all aimed at sabotaging my goal to complete a swim with the Icebergers

I was curious later in the day as to why I had put myself through that extra challenge and so here are my ponderings...

I was woken at 7am this morning by my alarm clock and my first thought was “It’s too early, I need a sleep in”. First hurdle.

I swung my legs out and sat up. “It’s so cold..the bed is so cozy” Second hurdle.

What was I dreading you may wonder.  I was on my way to do a 1.4km swim in 13 degree water with no wetsuit and very little training behind me.  I was fearing the cold.  I was fearing not being able to do it and failing. I was fearing that I would not live up to expectations. 

Now then, only a few weeks ago I would have let this fear take control and I would have surrendered to a whole host of other fears, taking me on a very fast spiral downwards to a pit of negativity, guilt and depression.  

This is where I’ve been for several months and yes, it probably sounds serious to you, but these negative thoughts which have continued to pile one of top of the other, are stopping me from doing lots of things.  By setting myself this tremendous goal to swim Rottnest, I am hoping to re-familiarise myself the essentials of positive mental conditioning.

“I feel a tingle in my ear, maybe it's the start of an infection, I best not swim' Third hurdle.

“It's raining and probably not great weather for a training swim” Fourth hurdle.

“I feel ill” Fifth hurdle.

And so it goes on. I'm actually exhausted before I even put my bathers on as I've had to break down every single one of those thoughts to even get me to this point.

Why have I created so many barriers for myself knowing full well that what I’m about to do will make me a happier and stronger person?

At what point does the fear disappear?

Can we eliminate those feelings of fear when we know what they are? Label them. Reveal them. Strip them and embarrass them-surely they won't come back?!

I can tell you this though.  I felt the fear...and I did it anyway.  That’s a win..for today.

Tomorrow..I have to get up at 7am again and go for another 1.4km swim in 13 degrees water.  I know I am going to fear it, but maybe I’ll only have 4 thoughts instead of 5 to battle with.

And so the journey begins!

"Your fears are not walls, but hurdles. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of it." — Dan Millman

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