Self-Limiting Beliefs...

This is one of those messy blogs that will dart around; part of it is a conversation I need to have with someone, so if they (and I doubt they will) read this they should know that this is the Willgoss-lite version... Part of it is the first part of a new adventure and the other bits are the running and climbing, and hopefully something will pop out of the wittering that makes sense.

So in my traditional way - I'll start in the middle, I've recently become one of a fairly small group - a member of a small cohort of around 300 people on the Civil Service's Levelling the Playing Field Positive Action Pathway - a year long development scheme, that is intended to give me, and the others, the skills and confidence to progress to the next level in the civil service.

The only way to get the best out of these things is to challenge yourself, to get external challenge and to add to that with information, details about yourself you may not like or want to know, but that you need to know if you can (to use Maslow reach the point of self-actualisation.

One of the tools we'll be using to help us on the journey, is Myers-Briggs a psychometric test that many have done, and puts you in one of 16 boxes or Types.  Some people are, in my humble opinion, lucky they're close to the middle they can switch between extrovert and introvert sources of energy, they can find that balance.  I'm beyond two standard deviations from that point, I max out the extrovert score.  That's not a boast, trust me.  I absorb energy from the external world, not like a vampire (though at my worst I can be), but from what I see, hear, eat - any sensation will do.  There are gradations in the sensations - a meaningful conversation can fill my energy banks for weeks at a time, a transaction at a shop is like fast food... Fast food is like fast food, a decent meal is quality sensation.

There are plenty of books out there telling introverts how to survive in a world of extroverts, but very few telling extroverts how to live in a world of introverts - and when you're out where I am anything would help because almost everyone is an introvert to me.  I'm still alive which means I've learned somethings in the last 44 years, because at my worst I would probably get killed in minutes by most people.

Which brings me to my self-limiting beliefs - I will say, and have said, that I'm not organised - which when I think about it is bollocks - I'm messy, I may appear chaotic, but I juggle a full-time job, charity commitments, marathon training, climbing, an OU degree and sometimes a social life.  I couldn't do what I do without being organised, brutally organised.

The next is I have no self-control... No, I have more self-control than I ever thought possible.  If I didn't then I'd be the worst of me, getting my energy by provoking it, taking the easy way... And maybe when I was younger I did some of that, maybe when stressed, burnt out, I flirt with the edges of that. But having seen the dark side of myself is a great thing, because it means I can make the choice not to use it.

I don't do planning - Ha! Again it's not traditional, but overlaying my type (ENFP - ) is my years of actually making things happen.  A normal conversation for me, is that a plan is a communication tool and that delivery come from within.  Having been around others for long enough means I know that doesn't work for anyone.  For me, a plan has to be target based - and orientated to something tangible.  I've followed enough marathon training plans to know that it has to be written down for me to believe in it, and I follow it.

I don't run long distances.  Oh I hear the laughter, but I can count the number of times I've run a whole half marathon from start to finish with no walking on the fingers of one hand... or could until recently.  I'm not sure when this year I decided to try and run through longer distances, but it wasn't planned (see above), it was however a conscious decision.  The training plan is a runners world smart coach one, and I've run through each of the LSRs.  The PBs have tumbled, 10 min for 14 miles, over 13 min for 16.  I'm faster through half marathon distance that I was running a half marathon all of last year.

To quote one of my favourite podcasts, a segway has occurred - I ran 16 miles yesterday, 26km 13 min faster than I've ever done before, on a course with more hills on than the old course.  Which is impressive to me (it's the target driven thing), however the most impressive thing about that run, for me... The way I took the last three KM.  The PB was in the bag, I could've walked the last three km and still been a good PB.  However, the three hour mark was there, three fast (for me) kms and I'd bring it under three hours... So at the end of 26km, I ran my three fastest KM of the day, and they were consistent 6:25, 6:27 & 6:27... and 2:58:55 is what the watch stopped at. A meaningless point in time, but one that has made me feel more confident about my running than I have done in a couple of years...

And confidence breeds confidence, and training works. which is where the climbing is at the moment... There is a strength issue, and a specific technique issue (how to deal with the chest muscles) and then there is the general stuff - how to move, and how not to move, as in holding the body rigid when only moving one part... And the "plan" is working, I'm getting more routes of higher grades than I've ever done, I'm making moves I wouldn't have done a couple of months ago... A drop-knee move up and out over a lip is not a traditional me move!

Where do I go from here; I'm working out what to do with the opportunity the development programme offers, and I have support from those one in a billion people on the planet who know me best, as well as the official support from work - and that's a frightening combination - my inner sanctum will keep my worst excesses at bay - and help me with the reflection thing I find so difficult to do... I'm following the training plan for the marathon, who knows where that will end... This week is a light week - a 10k, an eight k and a 10k - a rest week.  The climbing, that I continue to find the stillness in movement and movement in stillness, and instead of climbing reactively I will try and think my way through things...

For some the following is a curse, for me its how I get the energy I need - I live in interesting times!




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