As we get older there are less chances to do something for the first time. And the thought of doing something new can be quite scary, for anybody. It is a bit of the unknown and not wanting to be seen as an idiot. But you know, sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and give it a go. As my mum and probably yours always said “there is no such word as can’t!”
It’s about turning that ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’. Changing your mindset from a negative to a positive. If you think you can’t do something, then you have already told your brain that you can’t. If it’s an exercise thing, the muscles on the whole can likely do it, if you have been putting in the hard work and practice. And if it is about going to an event where you are not sure you will know people or starting a new job that is scaring you then brace yourself – look in the mirror and give yourself a good talking to. More on that below.
I have been doing CrossFit for about five and a half years now and it has taken me a long time to feel confident to do box jumps. Some of it is because I have seen quite a few of my friends connect their shins on the box and scar themselves. Some have had to have stiches – let me tell you, it is not a pretty sight. Enough to put anyone off. And the some of it has been me telling myself that I can’t do it.
I have progressed from stepping up on the boxes and then I have been dragging out plates to jump on and slowly increasing the height until I knew that they were close to, if not, the same height as the boxes we jump on (50cm). I was given some shin guards for a present (by the Crossfit crew) in January and so I thought I better ‘man up’ so to speak and jump on the box. I had plenty of encouragement from my Crossfit family. And guess what ‘I can’ do it. I have now completed a couple of workouts doing box jumps. I have to say I am quite proud of myself.
My next challenge or first is going to be a pull up without a big rubber band – I am getting close to achieving this, the bands I use are slowly getting smaller. One day I’m going to get there. I have changed my thought pattern to say I can do it, and I have worked on the progression to get there.
So the other scary firsts are the ones where you have to turn up, i.e. the events, first days at a new job or just when you need to put your big girls pants on and face the world. How do you progress towards those? It’s not quite as tangible as the Crossfit stuff. But there are still things you can do. One is to try some self-affirmations. Stand in front of the mirror. Look yourself in the eyes. Find something you like about yourself. Tell yourself how good you look. Use words like – I’m proud of myself. I believe in myself. I am confident. I deserve the best and only good things are coming my way.
I have done the above and it was really hard the first few times. I made myself cry as it was really hard to believe what I was saying. But after a while it feels right. And you can face another day of firsts.
Go on give it a try, you have nothing to lose! Even better, write the affirmations on post it notes and put them on the mirrors around your home. Each time you look into the mirror, repeat the affirmation/s.