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As we begin the month of April, now is an excellent time to see what’s gone well in our journey so far and what may need a little work. As you reflect, maybe you discover you’re ahead of where you thought you’d be, or maybe you’re finding that you’re a bit behind that mile marker you had set for yourself. Either way, we must acknowledge that the journey’s far from over. We’re constantly working on ourselves, finding ways to improve, new obstacles to hurdle. But if we get caught in that never ending cycle of task-mastering our goals (complete one, onto the next), it can begin to feel like a bit of a hamster wheel. On the other end of the spectrum, we fall short and we over criticize, we fall into a slump, we get discouraged, interpreting our efforts as failures.

Being a former professional athlete turned hobby-athlete of sorts, this can be an extremely hard task for me at times. I often look at what I used to be able to do as a college and pro athlete and compare myself now to that person I was with a thought that sounds a lot like “wow, how far I’ve fallen off…” I end up diving into an absolute sinkhole of negative results, confirming my evaluation from that one result–I am not as good as I once was. As a result, I miss all of the positive things that have happened along the way, like running my first 10 and 15km, staying consistent, trying new things (hot yoga and cycling).  It takes reminding that it’s not all about the results (in this case, the weights or the numbers). Our brain has a natural negativity bias… when left to its own devices with no direction, it will always fixate on and prioritize the negative information over the positive. Practicing gratitude is a great way to bring the positive to the forefront.

Whatever side of this story you’re on right now, I want to encourage you to practice some gratitude. Even if things haven’t worked out exactly as planned, what pieces of positive information can you find? Have you learned something about yourself along the way? Have you tried new things? It’s not all about the results…it’s about the journey. Because it’s on the journey that we create the human being who is capable of achieving whatever goal we’ve set. So, take a moment and practice some gratitude for the human being you are and the human you’re becoming.

Lauren Williams | Athletic Mindset and High Performance Coach 

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