Personally, I am highly motivated by fear and shame. As a therapist, this is hard to admit because everyone has ideas that we should be motivated by positive things, but for me – fear and shame seem to work.
I learned this about myself a few years ago when a friend suggested that we run a half marathon at Disney World. I was excited to reconnect with this friend and, also, secretly a bit in love with Disney World and wanted an excuse to go back without my kids. So we signed up. She had run multiple half marathons and even several at Disney World. I had run to the end of the street. As soon as I signed up, the fear and the shame set in. What will she think of me when I can’t even run half? What if I get swept up by the little old ladies? What if I wait six months and then try to cram in training in a week?
All of these were certainly possible. But the fear. The fear of being ashamed and embarrassed in front of my friend pushed me outside into the Houston 100 degree summer. It pushed me through a couch to 5K training program and then a bridge to 10K training program. It pushed me through my first half marathon four months before the Disney World Princess Half Marathon. Finally, it pushed me to go to Disney World and run the Princess Half even after my friend found out she was pregnant and dropped out. Ok, maybe that one wasn’t actually fear or shame, it was Disney.
Through it all, Disney World kept me going by distracting me from the pain and the sweat and the I don’t want to do this of it all. Disney podcasts, Disney blogs, Disney message boards. What started as fear and shame turned into something that I, as a therapist, can actually be proud of (even if I’m a little embarrassed that I, a grown, highly-educated adult have come to love Disney as much as I have). I run now because I love it, but I wouldn’t have learned that without the fear.
So fear, don’t fail me now. This brings me to the promise. I promise to write a post EVERY day of the next year. That’s 365 posts. Some of them may not be very good (all of them may not be great). No one may read them. But I promise to write them.