A few hours ago, I just finished my first half marathon. And it was AWESOME.
I was a mess of nerves as I got ready to go. Questions were flying through my mind. Would I be fast enough? Would I have to walk? What if I got sick or got a cramp or tripped over my shoelaces?!? What if I couldn’t find the starting line (You would think that 7,000 people waiting in line to run a race is a no-brainer, but this was a serious concern of mine.)
I knew I was physically prepared, but had to mentally calm myself down. A few deep breaths, some of my favorite tunes rockin on my ipod, and I jumped from the starting line.
The first few miles were an adjustment. I wondered if I was going too fast and if I would tire out by the end. I kept an eye out for the mile markers, just to be sure I was on track.
I soon realized–I needed to stop thinking.
And then, I let all the worries go. I took in the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere of the race. I let the spectators fuel my adrenaline and help push me forward. (A rather motivating homemade sign: “Keep running! Beer ahead!”) I saw my family on the sidelines supporting me and yelling my name. I had a smile on my face for the remainder of the 13 miles.
I stopped thinking and just enjoyed the run. I didn’t know what my pace was. I didn’t know how much longer I had to run. I just let it all go.
My point is that we can apply this same philosophy to any parts of our lives. Be confident that you are well prepared for whatever comes your way. Don’t worry too much about what’s behind you, or ahead of you, or how you’re going to get there. Don’t stress about whether you are moving too fast–or not fast enough. Focus on enjoying the moment. You will be happier, more confident—and carry a stronger personal brand.
Enjoy the ride.
Cassie is a May 2009 University of Wisconsin-Madison Ag Journalism graduate. She recently joined SPARK Advertising in Neenah, Wis. as a public relations specialist. Find Cassie on Twitter, BrazenCareerist, and LinkedIn.