Make sure your worst enemy is not living between your own two ears.
I found myself alone on a long and steep uphill section of track from Phakdingma, 2610 m above sea level, to Namche Bazaar (3400 m above sea level). I was alone, hot and battling a tummy bug. Scuttling off the track to allow for yak and donkey trains to pass, I realised I was feeling pretty miserable. I was tired and I didn’t feel like going on. Exhausted, I realised I had to be my own cheerleader. I had to keep going. I had to dig deep and find the internal strength to carry me forward.
I hear you ask querulously, “Surely there was little choice?” That’s true. I had to keep going. There was nothing to be gained in stopping and turning back wasn’t an option. For me, the biggest battle isn’t the mountain in front of me, the altitude or the physical hurdle to be cleared but the battle in my mind.
Interestingly, on this day, I noticed little negative self talk. There was, I’ll admit, quite a bit of exclaiming, harrumphing and a few ‘motivational’ “Oh shits”. But on the whole the greatest motivator was my internal cheerleader. That bright and bouncing part of myself that wasn’t covered in dust, struggling for air, needing the bathroom, was congratulating my body for its efforts. The little ra ra girl who shook her pom poms and kept me going up that hill was tireless (sounds like I was also delusional doesn’t it?)
In life there won’t always be people around to give you a boost, to cheer for and encourage you. Often, people won’t understand your goals, your passions, your journey. Sometimes people will try to dissuade you. At other times people will be so focussed on looking after themselves they can’t spare any energy to offer you support. In these situations we all need to find our own inner cheerleader. At these times we need to set our sights on our end game. We have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and motivate and encourage ourselves when the going gets tough, when we reach key milestones and to simply keep our morale high and our focus narrowed.
An inner cheerleader is pretty handy to foster in good times also. We all need a high-five when things are running smoothly too.
Don’t be afraid of talking to yourself, it’s the only way to be sure someone is listening.
Franklin P Jones
Go ahead, shake those pom poms!