About 8 months ago I was looking for a new challenge in life. I felt like I had begun to play life a little too safe, and was starting to get too comfortable…you know the type of comfortable where you start making excuses for taking risks? The type of comfortable where you stop challenging yourself? That is a dangerous place to be in life. Why? Because when we stop taking risks and doing scary, anxiety provoking things, we often tend to stop growing as well. So we have a choice in life…take risks, grow, and keep moving forward. Or choose to play life safe, not grow, and regress and move backwards. Those are our options. There is no static state, a place where you can just hit cruise control. Either you are taking risks and growing, or you are playing it safe and regressing.
And it just happened that I had also finished Brene Brown’s awesome book Daring Greatly the year before. And fresh on my mind was her story of her daughter and swimming. I won’t get into the story here (you can hear more about in this episode or read the book), but essentially, Brown talks about the value of showing up (“getting wet”) and reframing success. And I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to show up and redefine my success, as not whether I ran a certain time, or even finished (though that’s my goal), but that I risked failure by taking a risk.
That being said I started looking for a new challenge and I immediately went to an area of life that has really helped me a grow a lot….running. Few activities have transformed me as fully as running. Each time I completed a long and hard training season, or finished a marathon or 50k…or just came back from a morning run…I usually learned something new about myself, and the anxiety provoking experience that led to the growth, also gave me a lot of confidence in the process.
So as I chose this new challenge I had just a couple of criteria. 1) I had to show up (I will talk about this in this episode); 2) And there had to be the risk of failure (so not doing something I knew I could do for sure); 3) I saw this as basic criteria to help me grow….show up, but also risk failure.
As I recorded this podcast and typed up this post I’m well aware of the fact that I’m about a week and half out from this huge growth experience. On Saturday, October 17 I will be running my first 50 mile race at the Palo Duro Trail Run outside of Amarillo, Texas. Just getting to this point has been a huge opportunity for growth as I’ve trained really intensely for the last 6 months; had to hot summer days in training; nagging injuries; and just the mental capacity to focus on a task like this for an extended period of time. And probably the most important factor in all of this is that it has been a team effort. Without the support of my wife and kids I wouldn’t even be able to do this. They have sacrificed a lot for me to do this event. So I’m really looking forward to driving out there with them in a rented motor home as we experience this race together.
Though my challenge just happens to be a running event right now, all of us find our own challenges in life to help us grow. Many of you have set out on challenges that required you to show up and risk failure…and those experiences have helped you grow
So in this episode I want to explore with you:
- what it would look like for you to show up (“get wet”)
- what does it look like for you to risk failure and what can you learn from that
- reframing success
- growing vs. regressing vs. static states
- fears/anxieties of taking risks/growing
- what your next steps might look like
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Topics and Resources Mentioned in this Episode