Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown

339: Overcoming Self-Sabotage: How to Get Out of Your Own Way

December 28, 2023 Angie and Kevin Brown
Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown
339: Overcoming Self-Sabotage: How to Get Out of Your Own Way
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever find yourself caught in the trap of "I always" or "I never"? We're tearing down the walls of self-sabotage that keep us from reaching our true potential in fitness and beyond. Join the battle against those sneaky habits that prevent our progress and discover the importance of specific recognition and the redefinition of success. Together, we're rewiring thought patterns to align actions with goals, all while keeping judgment at bay.

This episode isn't just about running; it's about constructing a life where we hold the reins to our own behavior. By analyzing the roots of procrastination and the often-overlooked patterns of inaction, we carve out a path to new, constructive habits. We're throwing shame and guilt out the window and replacing them with an objective lens that cultivates growth. It's a candid discussion about how the stories we tell ourselves can either be our downfall or our roadmap to a version of ourselves that's been waiting to hit the ground running.

We're not stopping at just identifying the problem. We're stepping into the shoes of who we want to become—literally. Assuming the identity of a runner before the starting gun has profound effects on our mindset and actions. As we sprint through the concepts of identity and the flexibility of our goals, we illustrate how adaptability can lead to a fulfilling experience, regardless of the finish line. Tune in to episode number 339 of the Real Life Runners podcast and take the first step towards outpacing self-sabotage once and for all.


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Speaker 1:

This is the real life runners podcast, episode number 339 how to avoid self-sabotage. If you're looking for ways to bring more joy into your running and you want to be a physically and mentally stronger runner, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

This is the real life runners podcast, and we're your hosts, kevin and Angie Brown. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Now let's get running.

Speaker 1:

What's up runners? Today we are talking about the fun and exciting topic of self-sabotage. Now, why are we talking about self-sabotage, you might be asking yourself. Well, it's pretty simple. It's something that we all do. I know, I do it. I'm sure you've done it before, right, did it today? We all do it, okay, and so there's nothing necessarily wrong with it. I think it's important for us to understand that it is a human tendency. But today we want to talk about ways that we Self-sabotage so that you can start to notice these things in your own life and you can start to change some of these things so that you can Achieve those goals that are important to you. We talked about goal setting in some of our recent episodes and setting big goals and setting goals for 2024, and we want you to be able to achieve those goals, and one of the ways that you're gonna do that is by starting to recognize the ways in which you self-sabotage yourself and starting to re Wire some of those actions that you're doing. Re rewire the way you start to think about things and also start Doing different actions so that you can actually get the results that you want right, which starts with that rewiring, which is the thing, is what you're kind of focused there is.

Speaker 2:

You can't get the new actions without the rewiring, which is the whole point of this episode that is so like.

Speaker 1:

Before you can start to rewire the way you are thinking, you have to Become aware of it first, and that's really what we want to help you all understand today through this podcast episode is really starting to Identify those ways and those times where you are self-sabotaging yourself, so that you can notice them and then choose To do something differently, choose to change them. So the first way that we tend to self-sabotage is that we tend to generalize. So we often make this mistake of saying, well, I always do blank, or I never do blank, and so maybe for some reason, you Well say you want to be more consistent with your running and you decided that you want to wake up at 5 am so that you can run in the morning before you go to work, because you think that that will help you to be more consistent. Wonderful, it's a great habit to get into. But if you think Every time I try to wake up at 5 am, I hit this news button and I never end up getting out of bed, then You're essentially labeling yourself in this way and you're setting yourself up for failure, because you're telling yourself, well, I always do it this way or I never actually get out of bed. I Every time I've tried in the past, I've never been able to do that, and so, instead of Labeling and generalizing like, as in I always do this thing or I never do this thing, it's really important to get more specific with yourself. So, if you are noticing something that you want to do or something that you want to stop doing, ask yourself how many times did you actually do that thing this week, this month, this year? Get really specific and start to notice when are the times that you are successful with that thing that you want to develop.

Speaker 2:

Right, and when you start trying a new habit, you're probably not going to go from zero to complete consistency. I know I did not that at the beginning of of this year beginning of 2023, I had a big focus on increasing my, my strength. Like really buckling down and making sure that I was strength training and going in with the idea of, oh, I've just never been consistent with strength training is a really bad approach to starting this, and I bet there are a lot of people listening who are like, well, I'm pretty good with the running, but I'm very inconsistent. Or I never stick with strength strength training. That long I can't stick. That's, that's a real bad one. I can't stick with strength training. I can't do the speed work week after week. I don't do long runs. These are very big labels that you're putting on yourself and, in fact, you probably have been successful with strength training. You have been successful with speed work, with long runs, whatever it is. Just put a number on it so that it's not I'm super successful, I'm super unsuccessful. It's just a very clear objective how consistent are you Like? What are you actually doing?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that that's really important is when you we start to get specific, we can start to see the areas that we were successful or that we have been successful. I often talk to people that say they want to be more consistent, and I will then immediately ask them well, what does consistency look like for you? Because I think that a lot of people think that there is one definition of consistency it's always doing the thing that I say I'm going to do, always like 100% of the time, right. But what if we decided that we were going to create a new definition of consistency? Maybe it's 80% of the time, maybe it's 70% of the time. Then if I do what I say I'm going to do, you know whether it's in my workout routine or with something else, waking up at 5am, if I do that 80% of the time, I'm going to call that a win. I'm going to be able to define my own success. What is consistency when it comes to strength training? Is it twice a week? Is it three times a week? Is it 30 minute workouts? Is it 10 minute workouts? What does consistency actually look like? And when you get very specific and you define what success looks like for you and then also acknowledge those times that you have in fact been successful in that thing. Then you start to break down this over generalization and show your brain all the times that you have actually been successful with that thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I think to go back to my like speed and strength concept here is there are times where you can be like, yeah, I was able to get in a strength workout but it only lasted for 10 minutes. Or I couldn't do my speed workout but I replaced it with strides. You're like okay, but that's still like consciously being aware and not saying, well, I never do strength or I never do speed. Like sometimes I need to adjust things. And just having that awareness makes you very clear on what is happening versus isn't, like you said, know what you're considering success. Have some some outline of what success is. Success doesn't mean need to be 100%. I get this as the high school teacher. Kids come out of grade school and they're getting like hundreds on every single one of their tests. They get their first test back for me and it's like a 92. And they're devastated. I'm like what are you? You're nuts. You got an A on the test. They're like, yeah, but I missed this and this. Like okay, but you still got an A on the test. But these are like the really smart kids coming out of middle school. They haven't missed a problem in like six years. So kind of re changing that mindset and redefining what is success and being very clear on what it is. Maybe in certain areas it is 100%. Maybe it isn't all or none but it doesn't have to be all or none in all areas. Know what success means.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that recalibrating your definition of success is a really helpful tool. I think that sometimes we don't want to do that because we see that alone as a failure. Oh good one Right, like we think that okay, well, if I change my definition of success, or if I make, if I lower the bar, then that alone is a failure and I would argue with you on that. I would challenge you on that thought. Because if lowering the bar and is a failure, is it actually a failure if you can actually succeed at that thing? If your bar is so high that you are only succeeding 10% of the time, 20% of the time, is that better for you? Or is it better for you to lower that bar a little bit so that you can be succeeding based on that definition, 70, 80, 90% of the time? Which one is going to be better for you mentally?

Speaker 2:

And which one is going to lead you to quit really really quick. If I go out to literally talk about raising and lowering a bar, if I decide I'm going to take up pole vaulting and I decide the height that I'm going to set it at is like world record holder Mondo's height, I'm going to quit really really quickly because I can't actually make the pole bend correctly and spring me onto the mat, let alone clear 20 feet, like it's not happening, and so I will quickly realize that this is not for me. I'm clearly not cut out for this and I will just stop trying because the bar is set way too high for what I'm trying to undertake.

Speaker 1:

Right, and that's not to say that you shouldn't set big goals, but it is just saying okay, let's bring some awareness to what we're putting out there and what we're expecting of ourselves on any given basis.

Speaker 2:

Right, it's, it's having the really big goals, but also having some very clear not general, but very specific understanding of your starting point. Is great to have a huge goal, but start from where you are as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that's the second way that we self sabotage ourselves is confusion. All right, we oftentimes will choose to be confused about why we're not getting the results that we want. So oftentimes we don't understand why we're not doing the things that we want to do and instead of actually asking ourselves why and actually digging into what is holding us back why are we making these choices, why are we feeling confused about this We'll say, well, I guess we'll just try again tomorrow and that sounds really good. Right, that sounds really positive. Like, well, I didn't get it today, but I'll just try again tomorrow. But if we don't dig into the things that are holding us back and we don't actually figure out what is stopping us from doing the things that we want to do, then we are going to continue with the same patterns. Our brains love patterns. So if you are in a pattern of inaction, it will continue that way until you break that pattern and start a different one.

Speaker 2:

Right and breaking that pattern is going to be uncomfortable because, as you just said, our brain wants to stay in the pattern it likes. Whether we have a pattern of action or inaction, it wants to continue that. So any change to the pattern is going to be like mentally fatiguing. It's going to feel slightly uncomfortable and that's why it's difficult to start up a new pattern. That's why we would much rather just continue with what we've got. I'll I'll give it a shot again tomorrow. Maybe it happens, you know. Maybe you know one time during the week you are successful with whatever the the new thing you're undertaking. You were waking up at five o'clock and heading out for a run. Maybe that does happen and you're like, oh great it was, it worked. And then the next day it doesn't work. If you're not sure why it worked. If you're not sure why it doesn't work, you're going to be super inconsistent because you don't really even have a pattern of of action or inaction. You just are kind of going day by day and being like, well, I guess we'll figure out what happens tomorrow.

Speaker 1:

Right. So if we start to ask ourselves what are the specific actions that I'm taking that are leading to the times where I am successful, and then ask ourselves, well, how can I then do more of those things? And this requires us to be conscious and aware of the choices that we're making. If you want to wake up at five AM and there are times that you've been able to successfully do that figure out okay. Well, you know, what time did I go to bed the night before? What was my bedtime routine? What did that look like? Did I put my clothes out ahead of time, you know? Did I get up and wash my face? Did I put my phone across the room or my alarm clock across the room so that I actually had to physically get out of bed to turn off my alarm? Like, what were the things that I did that actually made me successful in those times? And then try to do more of those things. So, by choosing to not be confused and not just being like I don't understand why this isn't working, I actually asked yourself why isn't this working? What am I doing on the times that I'm successful? What am I doing on the times that I'm not successful? And then figure out how to start doing more of the things that lead to your success.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think, for for both these first things making sure that it's just, it's very clear and objective. Like I'm able to get up twice during the week, I'm aiming to get up and run four times during the week, like that doesn't mean that you're never getting up, that means you're at 50%, and then figure out very clearly what is leading towards success and what is leading towards lack of success, without judgment. On top of this, just this is what's happening, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think that's a really, really important point, because so many times the reason that we choose to be confused is because we don't want to feel shame and guilt around our choices, and so it's much easier to be confused than it is to figure out. Okay, well, why am I not succeeding? And if I try something else, I might not be, I still might not be successful, I might fail at that thing, and then that's going to feel bad. It doesn't feel good when we fail, when we don't achieve the things, because we layer judgment on top of it. We make it mean something about ourselves. We make it mean I guess I'm just not good at this thing. Going back to number one, where we generalize things, I guess I'm just not a morning person. I don't think that I will ever be successful with this. We generalize and then we place judgment on ourself because of it, and that doesn't feel good. So we avoid feeling the shame, we avoid feeling the guilt by choosing to feel confused instead.

Speaker 2:

Right, Instead of answering the question why, or like why does this work? When does this work? How, in what situation does it work? And staying nice and objective, we stick with the answer of I'm not sure. I'm not sure why it works, I'm not sure why it doesn't work. It just seems. You know, we'll leave it up to the universe and figure out what happens after races with our cross country team. In the fall, we have a post race on all of them about, like, what went well, what didn't go well, and there's not judgment throughout the classroom. It's just like right down in your journal. If they want to share, that's fine, but if they want to keep it to themselves they feel maybe they feel a little bit more safe just putting in a journal. You can have a safe space in your own journal. This doesn't have to be shared with the world around you, despite what social media suggests that you should share everything with the world around you. You just you have to have some awareness of what's going on so that you can recognize whatever pattern you're actually in. Yeah, Okay.

Speaker 1:

So the number three way that we tend to self sabotage ourselves is avoidance. We directly avoid that conscious awareness because, like I said again, we tend to judge ourselves, we tend to feel shameful, we tend to feel guilt over the things that we're not doing Right. So we know that we're not doing the things that we want, or we know that we're not living the life that we want to live. We're not being consistent with our exercise, we're not training for that half marathon that we want to do, we're not eating healthy in the way that we want to eat. But instead of figuring it out, we just do the things that make us feel good in the moment, like eating or going on social media or watching TV. There's a lot of things that we do to basically buffer from the negative emotions that we are feeling or don't want to feel in our lives, and sometimes we do this consciously, and most of the times we do this very unconsciously, because we don't want to feel those yucky feelings and we don't want to think about the things in our life that we're not doing. We don't want to figure out why it's not working, because that doesn't feel good and we'd rather spend our time right now with that constant or immoral gratification or immediate gratification not constant gratification, but it is kind of constant nowadays, like with the way that our society is set up, like immediate gratification. It is so easy to get that hit of dopamine when you pick up social media, when you, you know, eat that sugary processed food, when you do whatever that thing is, whatever way that you like to avoid kind of thinking about your goals or thinking about your responsibilities, or thinking about the other things in your life or actually doing the things. There's lots of things that we just tend to avoid, and so if we then choose to just avoid those things, and again it's going to lead to us not making the progress in our life, in our health, in our fitness, and then again feeling that shame and that guilt around it because we know that we're not living the life that we want to live.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean, then you get into that like shame cycle of you don't get up on time to do your workout. You feel bad about that. Instead of feeling bad, you're going to stop it. You know Duncan or Starbucks. You're going to grab yourself like a coffee treat so that you feel better in the moment, because you don't want to feel bad. So you get yourself something so that you feel immediately better, and then you enjoy that beverage. And then you feel bad that you had that beverage because you didn't work out that morning, so you didn't quote unquote earn that beverage. And now you're back in shame again. So you're feeling bad. Now you have to do something else so that you don't feel bad. So let's block out all feelings, pick up social media and just start scrolling on things I don't have to think about. I'll put myself in this other world and it's it's this horrible cycle of avoidance. And every time you pause from the avoidance and and actually think about what you're currently doing, what happened to the last 30 minutes of your life, you're like oh, oh, wait, I don't feel great about that. And the response, instead of figuring out why, why did I go through the avoidance tends to just be more avoidance. The correct response. Well, the more healthy response I want to correct. The healthy response is figuring out why were you avoiding, or what is it that you were actually avoiding and then trying to take different actions from there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the fun part about this is when you use productive or quote unquote helpful things to help you avoid this thing. So I know one of the things that I do when I'm trying, when I'm avoiding doing certain things that I don't want to do, is cleaning, right, like I will stress, clean, oh yeah, and cleaning is a very productive thing. I can see something dirty and then it becomes clean. I get that immediate gratification of making what is was once cluttered no longer cluttered. I clear my kitchen counter because I hate things on my kitchen counter, and I'm literally looking at my kitchen counter right now that is cluttered with all sorts of things and I'm choosing to ignore it right now because Recording this podcast is much more important than going over to clean my counter. But if I were you're thinking about the podcast and what I wanted to talk about this week and not really sure about what we should be recording this week it'd be very easy for me to avoid sitting down and writing an outline because I needed to go clean my kitchen instead. So I avoid the thing that I know I need to do or that I want to do, because it's important for me to get this podcast out, because I love reaching all of you wonderful runners every single week, and I love talking about things that are going to help you improve your running and improve the rest of your life. This is a part of my deeper purpose in my life, and my part of my mission is to help people live healthier and happier lives. But sometimes it's not easy to come up with the outline, and so I'll go clean instead, or I'll go do something else instead. I'll go for a run instead. We can actually buffer from other things by using running or working out as ways that we avoid other things in our life too.

Speaker 2:

I was just going to go with that one. I know I should be strength training today, but if I just go for a run instead, that can't really be that bad, because I'm still exercising. Yes, but you're still avoiding strength training for the fourth consecutive week is actually the response. Actually, you tend to stress declutter things, I fold laundry. I love folding laundry because-.

Speaker 1:

And I love that.

Speaker 2:

you love folding laundry and that's why I fold laundry, because then Angie's happy because I'm folding laundry and there's one it reduces clutter, so that helps you. You hate folding things in and of yourself, and so everybody wins on this thing, except whatever task I was actually supposed to be doing, because what I was supposed to be doing was probably not folding laundry.

Speaker 1:

Yes, but you get that immediate hit of dopamine by knowing that you're helping me and making me happy by doing that thing.

Speaker 2:

It seems like a win. But yeah, the example I was going to give for myself was going for a run instead of strength training, because it seems like you're still getting the appropriate exercise. Win and you may have like, in the long run you're still generally healthy, like you've picked a healthy task to do. But if you're consciously, if you're unconsciously avoiding strength training week after week after week, whatever it is that you're doing instead is still not the goal, so it's still avoidance.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the number four thing that we do to self sabotage ourselves is that we deny rewards to ourselves. But by waiting until you accomplish the big goal to reward yourself, we can't reward ourselves along the way. I can't do that thing, I can't buy that thing, I can't have that thing, I can't actually be a runner until I achieve the goal that I've set for myself, and oftentimes this leads to inconsistency and lack of motivation, which is the opposite of the thing that we're actually going for, because we think that we are, by withholding rewards from ourselves, we're actually going to be more motivated to achieve the big goal, and that's just not how our brains work.

Speaker 2:

No, we need those mini rewards along the way, and this doesn't mean that they have to be some huge reward that you're getting along the way, something that that is a positive influence on your life, and it can be anything like check boxes you like checking off things, you like it to do list that you can check off? That's a reward, like in your brain, that still counts as a reward. It doesn't have to be going out and buying yourself something. It could be, you know, but it doesn't have to go out and buying yourself something huge either. Like it could be small, little things. You have to be careful that these mini rewards are not simply numbing and avoidance and all of this stuff that you're not like just aiming for a quick hit of dopamine rather than actually working hard towards the goal. Like, oh well, I worked hard towards the goal for five minutes Time for my mini reward. Like, you need the mini rewards, but not an infinite amount of them. So there's a balance to this one. I think there's some nuance here that you do need the rewards along the way, cause you know we talk about having these big like lighthouse goals off in the future If all you have is a giant kind of faded blurry lighthouse off in the off, in the distance. It's going to be really difficult to stay focused the whole way, getting some buoys along the way as you continue rowing towards the lighthouse. Super, super helpful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and so if you do give yourself those mini rewards, you will notice that you are going to be more consistent, you are going to feel more motivated, because your brain needs those positive reinforcers to continue working towards the thing that you want to accomplish. All right, Number five the fifth way that we self-sabotage ourselves and this is really the underlying current for everything that we have already talked about is creating an unwanted identity for ourselves, and we don't even realize that we're doing this most of the time. So the mistake that a lot of us make is that we base our identity, the kind of person that we are we base it on the past and we tend to base it on our failures instead of our successes. So, for example, I'm just not a morning person, right? Maybe in the past you have not been successful at waking up early and getting your workout in early or getting to work on time. Maybe in the past you know an unwanted identity that I have given myself for a long time is I'm a procrastinator. I have a hard time getting things accomplished ahead of time. I always get things done and I always get things done by the deadline, but oftentimes I put unnecessary pressure on myself to accomplish the thing at the last minute and I end up staying up late and causing unneeded stress for myself because I just don't do things and I, you know ahead of time or far enough ahead of time or far enough in advance, and I tell myself it's because I'm good under pressure. Right, it's. It's this identity that I've created for myself and I have all of these things, all these, all this supporting evidence to prove to myself that I'm a procrastinator and all, and I've even created reasons that this is a good thing in my life and the ways that this has actually helped me in my life. And I've created this identity based on the past and based on the things that have happened, instead of the identity, instead of choosing the identity that I want for myself and doing the things that are going to help reinforce that identity.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I think the best part of this and this probably applies to a whole bunch of people is you've turned I'm a procrastinator into a positive Like. Not only do I have evidence, but I have evidence that I've been successful as a procrastinator. When the pressure really comes, watch me crank out and knock out phenomenal results and therefore next time your brain whether you do this consciously or unconsciously you're like I don't need to get this done in advance. It would actually possibly be better for me to hold off until the very end, because man do I do phenomenal work under pressure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's true and like oftentimes that's what we do because we want to see ourselves overall in a positive light. I don't think that we always do. I think that oftentimes we are very good at seeing our own faults. I know that I am. I'm pretty sure that every human being is very good at seeing the ways that we're falling short, and so what our brain sometimes does is take those ways and somehow turn them into a positive. It's not that we are like well, you know what I don't really like the way that I'm handling this situation. I really don't like this aspect of who I'm being right now, and so, instead of just changing it to something else because that seems hard and that seems difficult and I don't there's a lot of effort in order to change all of that I'm just going to have figure out a reason that that's a good thing.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I'm going to just play with semantics and I mean it's essentially it's resume. Padding is what you're doing, like figure out all the traits that you have and now take out a thesaurus and figure out the most positive words you can use to re-explain exactly the same things you have written down, possibly as negatives, but just reward them as positives, like I used to. I saw something. It was it was a teacher joke. It was like the best teacher reviews. It was like this teacher works phenomenal under pressure, much like a rat in a corner. It was like the way that they had taken it and, like you know, works well under pressure, seems great, but they had then added the negative to it is much like a rat when it, when you know, trapped into a back corner. They're going to get super strong and really powerful. That's not a good trait to have, but you could definitely spin it in a much more positive aspect.

Speaker 1:

All of the teacher reviews that spun everything in the most negative way possible, which is funny, always fun, but the the reason that identity is so important is because all of our actions come out of who we think we are. If you think I am a procrastinator, then you are probably going to wait until the last minute to get anything accomplished. That's just what's going to happen. If you think to yourself I'm not a morning person, it's going to be very difficult because your brain loves to change reality to fit your thoughts. Okay, your brain does not often change your thoughts to fit reality. Okay. So if you're thinking to yourself I am not a morning person, your brain is going to be like okay, got it, I'm going to find all of the evidence why you're not a morning person. Right, because you're. Our brains don't like to be wrong. And so if we're telling ourselves this story about who we are or who we are not, your brain is going to find all of the evidence to support that theory, to support that identity that you've chosen for yourself, whether that's conscious or unconscious. So if you tell yourself, well, I'm just not a consistent person, then you're going, your brain's going to find all of the times and all of the reasons and all of the instances where you have not been consistent and it's going to give those to you as evidence and proof that you are correct. You are not a consistent person, but I bet there are also times and instances where you have been consistent and your brain doesn't like to show you those ones because those don't fit the narrative that you're creating for yourself, those don't fit the identity that you are currently accepting as your own. So, instead of letting your brain just kind of do what it wants and find evidence for the unwanted identities, you can choose your identity that you want instead, and then your brain will start finding evidence to prove that thing correct. So if you want the identity of I am someone that is consistent, start to look for all the ways where you have been consistent with your life. I bet it's pretty, it's a pretty high possibility that you brush your teeth twice a day. You are consistent with teeth brushing and some of you might be thinking, oh, that's such a small thing, but it isn't, because if you weren't consistent with brushing your teeth, I bet you'd have a lot more dental problems than you currently have, right? So your consistency with your teeth brushing has contributed very positively to your health overall, and there's lots of research that has actually proven how important your dental health is to a lot of other things like your cardiovascular health and lots of other areas of your life. So you have actually shown that you can be consistent and have proven that you care about your health, because you brush your teeth twice a day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, you want something very healthy there. I'm very consistent with my cup of morning coffee because otherwise I would be remarkably consistent with a mid afternoon headache and I know the cause and effect on this guy. Yeah, I'm not pounding tons of coffee in the morning, but I need my cup of coffee. I don't know if I need it. I could phase it out, you could, but my cup of coffee in the morning leads to not getting a headache in the afternoon, so I am remarkably consistent with it. It's a small little thing. Does this fall into the category I want to ask you on the whole, the new car concept of when you start thinking about a car, something that you see them all over the road?

Speaker 1:

Kind of. Yeah, so there is a part of our brain it's called the reticular activating system, just because we like to throw some big scientific terms in every now and then. But essentially it's the filter of our brain. Like there are so many things happening around you right now, like if you were to actually stop and pause this podcast and just notice all of the different sounds, all of the sites, all of the smells. Our brain actually filters out about 95% of all outside distractions at any given moment.

Speaker 2:

So that it doesn't explode.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Right, because otherwise it would just, if you take in all of the information simultaneously, your head just couldn't comprehend it all at fast enough. All right, so the whole idea of when you start thinking certain, certain ideas in your head, you start immediately seeing evidence to them. The one thing that I've started seeing I shared this with you, I don't know a couple weeks ago. I have noticed an absurd amount of bumper stickers on the back of the car that say please be patient, new student driver. Please be patient, new driver. I'm seeing these stickers everywhere and, granted, I work at a high school, so some of the stickers are driving through campus, but I'm seeing them all over the place because we have a kid who's rapidly reaching the point where she's going to actually get in behind the wheel, and I had seen these for like a couple of weeks and I shared it with you, and then the next day and she hadn't heard our conversation the next day she announced how many months it was until she was able to get her permit to me. I was like, oh, wow, these are all lining up and it's just something that's been in my brain, and so now I'm starting to see the stickers all over the road. They were always there. I'm just starting to actually see the stickers all the time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So then how would you connect that, or maybe not necessarily that thing, but when have you ever noticed that you have an identity that is not really wanted?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, this goes a hundred percent to my strength training thing is coming post college. I specifically tried to avoid going to like where the varsity athletes lifted in college because I hated the lifting experience. Our time slot was at the same time as one of the other teams and I did not enjoy the experience and I carried that. I don't like going to the gym for way too long, which was really dumb because before that time I really enjoyed going to the gym. I would go with my dad. It was like one of the things that we would do during high school is we would go to the gym together. He'd do his work. We didn't like go around and lift together. It would that, which would be really fun. Could you picture my dad and I like all growing up lifting together, but we would literally go to the gym together. We'd both do our thing, we'd meet up at the end and then we'd head home. It was great. I enjoyed that experience. For some reason, I couldn't cling to that through college, so it wasn't for years later that I needed to actually flip myself and be like I enjoy lifting in the gym. I'm going to get strong. I am a person who lifts weights and is a strong human being. Taking that on, which, again, I'm going to embrace once more, I'm doubling down on this thing as we entered 2024. And I think that's going to have huge positive repercussions on benefits Thank you, I'm not sure how many words I tried to put into one there Huge positive benefits on all areas of my training, my health and everything. So that's one that's mine. Yeah, I'm a jogger right.

Speaker 1:

And so if you notice that you have an identity that you don't want, like I'm not really a runner, I'm a jogger or I don't really, I'm not consistent. I'm not a consistent runner, I'm an early or I'm a night owl, I'm not an early bird, whatever that might be for you just choose a different identity and then start doing things consistent with that identity, start finding evidence that you are that thing, so a big one. That I think always blows my mind and I know that I shouldn't say blows my mind, because I was here once too is I'm a runner. I did not call myself a runner for a very long time because I did not personally identify as a runner. I do now, but for a long time I ran, but I wasn't really a runner because in my mind you were a runner and I was not like you because you were much faster than I was, you ran much further than I did and you liked it a lot more than I did as well. Right, I?

Speaker 2:

certainly liked it more.

Speaker 1:

So there are all these evidence and all these pieces of evidence that I thought meant that I was not a runner. It went in reality. I was a runner because I went out and I was running four times a week. I ran. You know whatever distance I ran at that time. I entered races, I did. I did the things that runners do and you can decide whatever that means for you. Like, there is no one definition of a runner. There is lots. There are lots of definitions of what a runner is right or what is a half marathoner right. This is another one. People think, like, I'm not a half marathoner if I haven't actually run the race yet, and I would argue that you need to start to take on that identity before you actually cross the finish line in order to do the training and do the things that you will need to do in order to successfully get yourself to the starting line and to the finish line.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I'm so glad that we have a huge amount of episodes and that we've done one. I've done work, I've done work. I've done work with you on this whole identity thing because it helped me in my last ultra marathon as, as I needed to keep shifting goalposts for how long it was going to take me until I crossed the finish line Like I had so many goals, as I told you beforehand, and I didn't even have them ranked in order. I just had lots of goals and it was able to shift from. I would like to get there before midnight, I'd like to get there before, whatever time. The goals had to keep shifting and if I couldn't shift them, if shifting them changed my overall identity, that would have been a problem. If being able to say I'm an ultra marathoner relied on crossing the finish line in a certain amount of time, I couldn't have had the same joy crossing the finish line if I didn't get there fast enough and other people might look at the time and be like, well, that's phenomenal. I'd be like, oh well, I walked a whole bunch of it. I felt myself having those thoughts come up when people congratulate my and they're like oh man, did you run? The whole thing is one of the questions they ask, and my first my response of, quite honestly, is no, I took breaks during it and if, if I didn't have the right identity around this, I could have a lot of shame and guilt over walking breaks that I took during this instead of being able to be so proud over what I accomplished because I deemed myself ultra marathon a hundred miler at the starting line. I deemed myself a hundred miler before the race began and that's why I knew I was going to be able to get to the finish, because I had already taken that identity on. This happens with a half marathon. People are like, oh no, I want to be a half marathoner, I just need to get to the finish line. And then they get there and they look around. They're like, well, I didn't get there as fast as that guy, so maybe I'm not actually a half marathoner. You're a half marathoner before you start. That's what's going to get you there most successfully.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. So, yeah, self sabotage is when we have an unwanted identity, and the way that we can fix that is by choosing our desired identity and starting to live from that place first, and that really is the key to all of this. This is the key to all the the four things that we said before this as well, and so if you guys can do, you know, start to notice when these things are happening in your life and start to notice and realize when you are starting to self sabotage yourself and just realize that you can make a different choice instead, this is going to change everything for you. So if you are someone that tends to self sabotage, aka you're a human, because we all do this right. So the more we get at noticing these things and then adjusting them ahead of time or in the moment, the better we are going to be at being able to live the life that we want to live and move in the direction of our goals and of our dreams. So if you guys found this episode helpful, please share it on social media, share it with a friend, leave us a review on Apple podcast so that we can reach more runners, and if you want to learn how to run your fastest half marathon in 2024, or maybe you want to learn how to run your first half marathon in 2024,? We've got a brand new free challenge, January 1st through 5th, where we are going to be teaching you the five most critical ingredients for you to run that half marathon in 2024, so that you can feel strong during the race and cross that finish line feeling amazing. 2024 can be the year that you run that half marathon in the way that you've always wanted to run it. So if you have a goal time or if you just want to cross the finish line with your hands up in the air, come join our free challenge. We're going to show you the five critical ingredients that you need and we're also going to be teaching you the five biggest mistakes that runners make when training for a half marathon, so that you can avoid them and achieve the goal that you have for yourself. So head over to realiferunnerscom forward slash challenge to sign up for that challenge. We start January 1st. We're going the first through the fifth. We've got five days of action items, five days of live training where you can come and get coached by us, get all of your questions answered. So it's all for free, because we just want to help more people achieve their goals. So head over to realiferunnerscom forward slash challenge and get signed up for that today. And, as always, thank you for spending this time with us. This has been the real life runners podcast, episode number 339. Now get out there and run your life.

Overcoming Self-Sabotage in Running
Self-Sabotage
Avoiding Self-Sabotage and Building Positive Habits
Creating Positive Identities and Overcoming Procrastination
Choosing Desired Identity and Overcoming Self-Sabotage
Five-Day Free Coaching and Training Challenge