Consider the following questions: How do you run a marathon? How do you write a best-selling book? How do you eat an elephant?
One step, one sentence or one bite at a time of course.
When we are able to fix on the small task directly in front of us, any lofty goal seems doable. To do this it is important to let go of past fears and stress of the unknown future. Focus on the moment and before you know it, you can look back on miles of road ran or chapters of a book written. (I’ll leave the last example up to your imagination.)
Ben Newman has coached many professional athletes to success by focusing on taking one step at a time. He also believes in experiencing challenges for himself to understand and better relate to those people he teaches. Ben emphasizes mental toughness in his storytelling and teaching, giving examples of his own life and the lives of inspiring people he has met.
We broke down some of those stories and pieces of advice to help you become the best version of yourself. Listen to this episode of the Running for Real podcast, or read along to be inspired today!
Mental Toughness Translates
A sound lesson that Ben teaches to Fortune 500 companies and professional athletic teams alike, is that mental toughness is transferable. You have the ability to draw on your previous successes when you are faced with a new challenge.
For example, a mother who has hit the wall on mile 21 can remind herself that she can accomplish anything because she has given birth to a child. Or maybe you have completed a marathon before but you are facing a nerve-wracking job interview. Tell yourself that you can do hard things because you have done them before.
Use your experiences in life to your advantage while you train for race day. Then use your power as a runner to conquer everything else in life. It works both ways.
Who is Your Teri?
When believing in yourself is hard, or it seems impossible to bring to mind a previous success of yours, look to those who inspire you or believe in you. Having a mentor that believes in you or a family member that loves you can make all the difference when you are facing a heavy task.
For Ben, this person is Teri Griege. Ben first met Teri at a speaking event when she told about her battle with cancer and her love of marathon running. Ben instantly became inspired to run a marathon. Later he had the opportunity to meet Teri who then helped Ben train for a marathon and was there to watch him run across the finish line.
That’s nice, but what if I don’t have a Teri in my life?
Ben believes in mentors we have never met. Read books, listen to podcasts, find someone through social media, or ask a friend who they look up to. There is an inspiring person for every personality.
You can also take a moment to think about people who have reached out a hand to you that you may have brushed aside. If you need to mend bridges to find the support you need to accomplish your goals, do it. There is a mentor out there for everyone.
In life we have people that inspire us and people that look up to us. Whether we realize it or not, there are people watching us and seeing what we will do in life. Having someone that believes in you because they want to be like you can be just as powerful as having a constant mentor. Be a Teri for those people.
Who Will You Become?
A practice that Ben encourages everyone to do is to tell yourself “I am” statements. These are statements in something that you can achieve but haven’t yet. For example, if you want to open a bakery you can say, “I am a small business owner.”
What does a successful marathon runner, father, painter, or underwater basket weaver look like today? Whatever you want to be, act like you are already there, taking the steps that you would take if you had already succeeded, because those steps are what success looks like.
Find your Teri. Be a Teri for someone. Know that you can do hard things because you have done them before. Take one step at a time and you will see what winning today looks like.
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Thanks for Listening! I hope you enjoyed today's episode.
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Thank you to Ben, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.