Lately, I’ve been really into self-help books. I just finished reading *You’re a Badass at Making Money (HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT) and I’m currently binging on *The 4 Hour Work Week which has been on my “to-read” list for quite some time now. A few things these books have in common is that they discuss positive affirmations, the importance of mental strength training, and how your mindset plays a role in your happiness.

On last week’s long run, I started thinking about how much marathon training prepared me for the many challenges and successes of everyday life. (This post is a long one — I had 2 hours to think about it😉)The Four Hour Work Week

Nearly two years ago I wrote a post on 20 things I Learned from Marathon Training. A few that really stood out to me are:

  • The importance of having a mantra and repeating it often
  • Breaking up the distance into manageable legs (through mind tricks😉)
  • Getting comfortable being uncomfortable
  • Keeping a journal of my progress so I could see how far I’ve come
  • Having trust in the training
  • Balancing work, training, and having a social life

While these learnings were specific to my training at the time, I’ve applied many of these to my everyday life.

Mantras & Affirmations

For example, I firmly believe in the power of positive affirmations, having a mantra, and repeating it often. I have my goals written on a note on our fridge, in the notes app of my phone, in a Google Doc, and other highly visible, high traffic places. When writing/reading them, I repeat the words “I will _____” (ie: I will run a sub 2 hour half marathon). While training for the marathon and on most of my harder runs today, I repeat, “you are stronger with every mile”. I apply that same mantra when things get tough in my career — “You are stronger with every pitch. You are stronger with every proposal. You are stronger with every new client.”

Break Up the Distance & Projects

In my career and on my blog, I often have hundreds of ideas of things I want to do, books I want to read or goals I want to achieve. Instead of getting overwhelmed by it all (and knowing there’s just not enough hours in a day to do everything), I break up the project into manageable tasks to work towards the end goal. Training for a marathon requires time management, patience, dedication, and being able to understand how short term results help achieve the long term vision.

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I think I could write a whole book on this topic. Marathon training is not easy — if it was everyone would do it. It’s extremely uncomfortable, it’s taxing, and it’s often similar to the feelings you get when starting a new job. It’s exciting, but painful. It’s satisfying, but at times you think you’ll never make it through. When things are astray in my life I just remind myself that it’s an uncomfortable situation and I will find the strength and perseverance to push past it.

Journal How Far You’ve Come

I listened to a podcast recently about the “Ow and Wow” mindset. It’s about two types of entrepreneurs and when asked how their business is doing, one responds with “It’s good but I’m just so nervous we’re not making enough money, there’s so much more to be done…”. The other responds with “It’s good, I sometimes feel overwhelmed but then I think about how far we’ve come and it gives me the motivation to keep pushing forward.” The latter is the one who will be successful because they aren’t constantly worrying and stuck in the “ow” mindset but rather focusing on the progress they’ve made and how far they’ve come. Journaling helps ensure you keep track of your progress, your successes, and your failures. 

Have Trust in the Training

I just took the leap in starting my own consulting business nearly two months ago (how time flies!) and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions. There are times when I couldn’t be more proud of how far I’ve come and all that I’ve achieved in such a short time. Then there are times I worry about whether or not I’ll be able to continue this as a career. I have to remind myself (with the help of my support system) to have trust in the process.

Keep pushing forward and trust that all of the training you’ve done will help you get to wherever it is you are going.

Balancing It All

Whether you’re training for a marathon, taking care of your family, starting a new job (or another job), or working on a blog, it can be hard balancing everything. Marathon training taught me discipline and the importance of having dedicated time to rest & recover, be with my friends and family, and get my work done to the best of my ability. For that, I am SO thankful.

As I finish writing this post and continue preparing for my 10th half marathon this August, I’m starting to get the itch to run another marathon….If you’ve made it this far, do you have any recommendations? 

If you’ve run a marathon (or even a half marathon), what life lessons have you learned? How have you applied them?

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