A new season brings change. Summer is fast approaching, and my world (at least here in Seattle) is starting to open up. For myself and my clients, the words commitment and intentionality keep coming to the surface as we navigate what this new season will bring. A commitment towards our goals and intentionality to realize them. A few weeks ago, I learned that outdoor adult soccer leagues would be re-opening in Seattle. Contact sparring was also re-starting at Taekwondo. It’d been over a year since I played soccer or sparred. As someone who identified strongly with my athletic side, I felt like I had lost a huge part of myself when my soccer and taekwondo worlds shut down with COVID. Now, 13 months later, the time I had been waiting for was finally here!
Disempowering questions lead to disempowering answers
Leading up to my first soccer game back, my nerves and anxiety started to grow. Would I even remember how to play? How long would I last on the field? Would I be able to run? How terrible was I going to be? I had gained weight, I hadn’t been running, I was still rehabbing my injured hamstring, and each of these things along with the disempowered questions I was asking myself affected my confidence. The judger questions were also present on the Taekwondo side: Would I even remember the techniques? Would I be fast enough to make contact? Would my ankle hold up? How rusty was I going to be?
As Tony Robbins says, “Stay in your head, you’re dead.” Recognizing this negative pattern is the first step in overcoming it. Where we focus our thoughts impacts our feelings, and we can shift our focus by asking empowering questions. Once I noticed the judger pit I was falling into, I intentionally shifted to empowering “learner” questions instead. Check out Dr. Marilee Adam’s Choice Map for more on this topic. What was I most excited about? How would I connect with my teammates? How would this experience make me stronger? What was I grateful for?
Change creates change
I’m glad I didn’t let my initial negative thoughts get in the way of putting myself out there. I reminded myself that participation and FUN were the goals, NOT perfection. My first night back at contact sparring and soccer was both sloppy and amazing, and the next two days when I could barely move was a big wake up call. My fitter pre-COVID version of me was at odds with what I’d become. I knew it was time for change and I was finally ready for it. Committed to getting back to pre-COVID shape. No excuses. Change creates change.
Small steps lead to big changes
As a small step forward, I started listening to my favorite running podcast Marathon Training Academy for inspiration. The episode with behavioral goal and achievement expert, John Assaraf, was just what I needed to hear. He described the one question that changed his life – the defining moment when his soon-to-be mentor asked him if he “was interested or committed”. This set him on his path towards success. When you are only interested in something, your excuses get in the way when the going gets tough. When you are committed, your goal becomes a must. Making a decision to commit is a big first step towards taking action.
Questions to get you ready for change
If you’re ready for change, here are three steps to take action.
- First, reflect on what you want to have first. For me, it was getting back to my pre-covid soccer and running shape.
- Next, reflect on the type of person you want to be in order to get what you want. For me, it was someone who is consistent with their balanced workout and nutrition routines.
- Lastly, determine what you need to do in order to be that type of person. For me, that meant dialing up my nutrition and following through on the weekends.
Are there parts of your life where you feel that wake up call coming? If so, I invite you to explore and ask yourself the following empowering/learner questions. These are the questions I regularly walk through with my clients to get ready for change.
- What do I want?
- What do I need to do?
- Am I interested or am I committed?
- What excuses am I making? What am I ready to let go?
- Who do I need to be? What do I need to believe?
- What else is holding me back? How will I plan for this?
- What is one action I will take towards my goal?
When you are ready for change, you are committed (not just interested). Noticing your negative pattern is the first step to overcome it. Then, shift your focus by asking yourself empowering vs. disempowering questions. What do you want to have? Who do you want to be? What do you need to do to be that type of person? Let your answers be your guide to taking action. I look forward to what’s next for you! Take care, and here’s to your happiness and health!