One of the hardest things about working towards a goal can be backing yourself. It’s also one of the most important.
I’ve said previously that you have to believe a goal is achievable. You also have to be prepared to declare that belief to other people and defend your right to do what is necessary to achieve that goal. (Assuming that your actions are not crossing any moral or legal lines, of course.)
Starting the work towards achieving my Half Marathon goal has meant changing my running schedule and the pace of my long runs. These changes, however, have meant that I have stopped running with my week-day running group. I have also received a few negative comments about my long run workout pace.
In situations like this, I think it’s important to be polite but unapologetic in standing up for yourself and your plans.
With the running group, I made sure to let them know that I wouldn’t be joining them for a while because I was working towards my goal and needed to do different workouts. I didn’t just disappear – that would have been impolite. I also didn’t apologies for not coming out (I didn’t say, “I’m sorry, but..”.). If I had apologised it would have indicated that I was doing something wrong. Not apologising shows conviction in my actions.
The comments on my long runs were in relation to my pace, that it was slower than it used to be or slower than it should be. In response, I explained I’m trying a new training method that I have read about, and that has been proven to work for others. I also explained that I know that if I continue to do the same training I was doing (in this case running faster during my long runs), I will not reach my goal. It wasn’t working before, so why should I expect it to work now? Again, I was polite but clear with what I was doing and why.
How do you back yourself when it comes to achieving a goal?