(Estimated reading time 3 minutes)
This post talks about snow shovelling, but it’s really about finding a way to overcome the self-sabotage that makes something feel overwhelming.
This week we got a ridiculously large amount of snow. For one reason or another, I faced clearing our driveway on my own. It sounds like a small task – it was not. It was so overwhelming I didn’t even want to begin because it looked and felt like an impossible job for one person and a shovel. The self-sabotaging thoughts in my head were as relentless as the waves on the seashore. You can’t do it. You’re not strong enough. Someone should be helping you. You’re not fit enough. Why is this my job anyway? My wrist injury can’t take this. I’m not doing it. It made the shovelling very hard. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard anyway – heavy, wet snow and lots of it – but the thoughts made each load feel like a burden I couldn’t lift – the kind of mental sabotage that had me giving up before I had even begun.
Taking a break to get out from under the resentment that was quickly crushing any thoughts of being able to complete this task, I realized that I was the only one who could do this job on that day. Necessity had me taking a deep breath and looking for a new perspective – my current one was not helping me in any way.
I told myself the physical challenge was just a training exercise to develop the mental endurance I would need this year. With each muscle-burn and every ache, I said to myself that despite feeling weak and inadequate I had what it takes to do the job. I reminded myself I was stronger than I thought and that the endurance I needed to push through this physical task was just a small amount of the perseverance I would need to develop to move from where I am currently to where I want to be this year.
My new perspective gave me the motivation I needed to finish the job. I knew that changing my thoughts would help; I was surprised by how much it did. I realized that the power is not in the moment itself, only in the interpretation of the moment. When we rank life’s challenges shovelling snow is low on the list, but the self-sabotaging voices remain the same whatever the situation we face.
You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength. Marcus Aurelius
Here’s to living with clarity, courage, compassion and confidence!