How to start following through with what you say you’re gonna do

photo 1I ran a half marathon last weekend. I feel proud of myself. Not because I ran 13.1 miles but because I said I was going to train for something and I did it.

There have been many times I told myself I was going to do something and I quit. I lost faith in myself for a time. It isn’t a good feeling… not trusting yourself.

I see over and over again times I committed and didn’t follow through. It feels sucky.

My sophomore year in university I had 1 test left, my last final in pre-calculus. I had an A. I wanted to leave and get on the road… head out to meet up with my friends. So, I skimmed through the test in 20 min instead of taking the hour I needed. That 1 decision bumped me down a grade.

My first business I was in a network marketing company. I hounded friends and family to check it out, told everyone I was going to succeed and at the end gave up. There were times I was doing well and I believed I would make it with all my heart… and then when it got really hard and I was out of my comfort zone, I stopped. Sure, I have excuses… I was sick from morning sickness, my husband was out of town, I was limited on child care, but if I am really honest, I just let it drop away because it was too hard and I didn’t want to do the work.

When my eldest got to preschool age, I loved the idea of Waldorf schooling. I imagined my kids building fires and knitting with no technology. I purchased an online kindergarden program. He was going to have a great time and learn so much. Well, I got to letter C before giving up.

That was 5 years ago.

Rebuilding trust in myself has been a slow process. Just like any relationship it takes time. One decision after another. Saying I’m going to do something, then following through with it.

Four years ago, when I started sharing my artwork and teaching workshops, I gave myself small things to follow through on. You see, I was scared. So staying just a smidge out of my comfort zone was do-able. I didn’t know anything about creating websites with WordPress, but I figured I could look it up online and read “websites for dummies” and such. My first workshop was a small affair in my home creating art on my dining room table.


Last year it was the Radiant Mama Telesummit. Each email I sent to connect with an expert, each interview I conducted, each item I passed to my VA was an exercise in following through with what I said I was going to do… Host a telesummit. What helped me through in moments of doubt was when I could look at the big picture… imagining thousands of moms around the world ready to step into their dreams and desires yet feeling stuck.

The past few months my training has been this half marathon. I signed up under the advice of my business coach. She believes the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. This half marathon was meant to be a gauge. I can watch my thoughts and see where I give up, give in. And let me tell you, it has been insightful.

When I first started running, it would take a lot just to get me out the door. I wanted to make sure I was prepared… right shoes, socks, bra, hair up, hat on… Sometimes I didn’t even get out the door because I wasn’t “ready.”

Partway through my training, I noticed I’d want to give up the last 1/2 mile. I had done most of it, so in my mind, I was pretty much done.

running training

Last month my mind HATED running. I started upping mileage and I was wondering WHY I was doing this. What’s the point? I would do my runs but every second felt like torture. I was so unhappy.

So here is where running connects with my life and following through…

  • How many times have I not started a project because I wasn’t “ready?”
  • How many times do I work reeeeeally hard and then give up at the very end?
  • What areas of my life am I feeling passionless and unhappy?
  • When I don’t run, how often do I not keep my commitments to myself?

I had plenty of reasons not to do the race.

The week before my race I did a hula class where we started a new song, all of it performed on our knees (think intense quad workout). The day after that class I couldn’t walk. My knee hurt and I limped around. I couldn’t walk, let alone jog my last long run before the race. Then Monday I came down with the sniffles, Tuesday a sore throat and it lingered Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. It wouldn’t go away! I was sick, not running and I knew that Sunday I was supposed to run over 13 miles.

The day before the race, my husband asked if I wanted to do it. I had a million reasons why I shouldn’t… if I pushed myself too hard, I could get REALLY sick. Was this 1 race worth being out maybe for a week? Was it worth injuring myself? Part of me said it wasn’t worth it. What was the point? The other part I had been training said… I committed to doing this. I told people I was going to do it. I can’t back out now.

Sunday morning, I woke up with my husband at 3:30a and we headed out the door to drive to Volcano. Even sick, I decided I WAS going to complete this race. My goal was to jog the whole thing. I did give myself a mini out (if I started feeling really sick, I could drop down to a walk).

starting lineAt the race start, I looked around at all these people ready to race, others who had trained for this. Some jogged in place, others did their stretches. There were people in high tech racing gear and others in t-shirts and jogging pants. A guy running in slippers (flip flops) and others in ultra light racing shoes. I figured I fit in enough. (And don’t ask me what the guy behind us is doing in this picture. I dunno.)

The race started. I jogged with my husband, feeling the wave of those running around me. The first few miles weren’t so bad. I started to count the miles around mile 4 when the race course took a turn UP. For the next 4 1/2 miles, I did my best to just keep running one foot in front of another. There were people around us walking then jogging, walking then jogging moving the same pace as us. I kept reminding myself I was running my own race. This wasn’t about the people running in front of me or behind me. And so I kept my head down and didn’t look too far ahead. The couple times I did, I thought I might give up so I stopped doing that.

At the top, it was time to turn around and head DOWN. I turned on some music at that point which helped me get my legs going. I was running downhill singing “I am titanium.” That music kept me moving. It got really hard at mile 11. 11 miles was the furthest I had ever run and each step hurt. My joints felt the impact and I was getting tired, even a little loopy.

Those last 2 miles, there was a mantra that kept me going… “Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever.” I felt like crying, curling up in a ball and giving up. But I wouldn’t. I made a commitment. I said I was going to do it and TOO MANY TIMES I made a promise to myself and didn’t keep it.

One. Foot. In. Front. Of. Another. I jogged all the way across the finish line.

photo 2

I have a moment in my mind… like a mind snapshot of when my husband and I crossed that finish line. Our arms were raised and I looked at him and felt so proud of myself.

How did I build up my trust muscle?

It wasn’t just about running across that finish line. It started in my training, every single run… my 2 mile runs and my 10 mile runs. When I finished, I had this feeling inside my body of relief and power. I remember my 11 mile run being especially hard. I was on the heavy day of my moon, was cramping and strapped on my running shoes anyways. As I ran, I thought, it won’t ever be worse than this. If I can do this, I can do anything. And when I finished, I felt good. I did what I said I would.

So, can you relate?

Do you have a dream or desire in your heart and are you afraid to step up? Are you like I was and wonder if you’ll follow through this time? Do you feel like you need to work out your “commitment” muscle to trust yourself again?


Leave a comment and let me know how you’re gonna start working your self-trust muscle.

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