Overcoming Self-Doubt: How Do You Do It?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We've all had those times when we set a goal, start working toward it, and then begin to wonder if we're going to be successful. Was my goal to aggressive? Is this the wrong time to pursue it? Do I have all of the tools I need? Whether your goal is to lose 5 pounds or 100, to run a 5K or run a marathon, it's easy to let self-doubt creep in. I've been experiencing a lot of that lately.

I've successfully completed 4 marathons and started training in June for #5. I knew going in that this one would be more difficult than most of the others: I've got 2 kids now which makes it tougher to find training time, and on top of that, I've set an aggressive time goal that I'm not exactly sure is feasible for me. I love running, so it's something I enjoy doing. But jumping out of bed at 5 a.m. for a 10 mile run is not easy, especially when your sleep was interrupted by children numerous times the night before.

I'm someone who loves a physical challenge. I'm not much for competition with others, which is why I was never any good at sports. But when I started running, it became a competition between me and myself. I wanted to prove that I could be strong and do something the majority of people would never even attempt. That's why I started running marathons. My reasons for running have changed over the years, but one big motivator is my kids. I want to show them that you can be physically tough and be a mommy at the same time.

The training group I joined is for more advanced runners. I figured it would push me to get faster and stronger. But honestly, sometimes I'm discouraged when I'm one of the last to finish a run or because I don't log as many miles (because of time constraints and energy level) as others in the group. I try to remind myself that most people wouldn't attempt this with kids as young as mine, especially when they are still nursing one of them. I remind myself that I've done this before (running my last marathon while nursing baby #1) and I can do it again. I remind myself that I'm not there to break a world record, and just finishing will be an accomplishment. But sometimes all of those reminders aren't enough. Sometimes I get frustrated and wonder if all the hard work is really worth it, and if I'm really going to reach the goals I've set for myself.

How do you do it? When the self-doubt starts to creep in, how do you deal with those thoughts and feelings? Do you adjust your goals, or just keep forging ahead?