I was listing to Tina Muirs podcast (Running for Real—Link HERE) the other day on my walk. She was interviewing Professor Maja Jovanoic and the main focus of the podcast was for people, particularly women, to STOP APOLOGIZING. I myself am guilty of this as a born people pleaser. I use sorry as a comma religiously and how most valley girls use “like”. In fact my middle name should be sorry and be tattooed on my forehead just for good measure.
I use apologetic words in every aspect in my life and have been working extremely hard to STOP IT. Even with something that brings me so much joy like running I am contently downplaying my accomplishments. Sometimes it’s to not intimidate other people who don’t run the same as me or making up for the fact that I myself am not at elite status pace wise and many don’t consider me a “real” runner. I’ve used phrases like “just a short 3 miles today” even though I used to think that was a marathon and still does some days. “I only ran a 9:55 miles” when even a year ago that seemed like such a leap and I’m genuinely proud of that time. The world conditions us to feel as if we can’t be proud of what we do unless we are at the top or that if we don’t say sorry people will think that we aren’t kind.
When I finished my half marathon at the end of 2019 I remember feeling on top of the world and being so pumped with my time, where I finished in my age group and that I had been faster in the second half than the first (also known as a negative split). I posted about it on Instagram and then immediately was filled with dread about being viewed as boasting, delusional, or overly confident when people obviously do run faster than I do. I didn’t let it dim my light but its been a learning curve for me to not be so concerned with what others think. Using “sorry” and other self depleting language is all tied to our concern with how we are perceived by others. The secret to controlling peoples narrative is to stop giving a flying rats behind as to what people think. Easier said than done but like Tina and Maja covered in the podcast---Challenge yourself to catch yourself downplaying things and saying sorry. You’ll be amazed at how many times you do it without even thinking.
Professor Maja said she often challenges women to list 10 things they are proud of in their lifetime and says consistently they struggle. Sometimes they are able to think of a few instances but then draw a blank or question if the accomplishment they are thinking of is enough or worthy. Bells of truth started going off in my head because everything she was addressing was EXACTLY what I was thinking. Even this blog that I’m so proud of for starting I sit back and question what people will think, do people think this is annoying, how can I feel accomplished when it’s not even popular. All of these questions are just another way of downplaying something that I am proud of.
I decided to challenge myself and make a list of 10 things I am proud of. I was able to get 3 off the bat and then just like Professor Maja said I was one of those people who had a mental stutter and went blank. I finally got to 10 and tried not to care if they were “good enough” accomplishments to anyone else (I can’t lie and not tell you I re-read them half a dozen times before hitting publish on this post)
Running a half marathon
Giving birth (that is no joke no matter how the baby comes out)
Starting my blog
Getting healthier both pre and post baby
Signing up for a marathon
Deciding to seek my RRCA Level 1 coaching certification
Going paragliding in middle school
Leaving high school early and getting my GED
Finishing my first 5k
Auditioning for a singing part in my high school play years ago when I always am self conscious singing in front of people to this day
So now I challenge you to make your own list of 10 accomplishments-----They can be recent, 10 years ago, something you've decided to do but haven't gotten the chance to yet. Whatever YOU want. I’d love to hear them and invite you to share them with me via email at Info@runningandschmidt.com , comment on this post or share on Instagram---use the #runningandschmidt and be sure to tag me @runningandschmidt
Be sure to listen to the Running for Real podcast with Tina Muir and Professor Maja linked HERE!