I noticed something in yesterday’s email as I was scanning through it this morning:
“I found myself shivering on the banks of the River Avon on New Year’s Day, having foolishly committed to swimming across it as a ‘good way’ to start the year.”
That single word: ‘foolishly’. It doesn’t sound like much, but it speaks volumes. Perhaps it was, by societal norms, an odd thing to do – but the fun, the refreshment, the positive feeling of actually having got up on the first morning of the year and done something was great.
Why discount it? Why devalue it?
Many people, and perhaps especially women, have been conditioned to downplay achievements, goals and life in general using negative qualifying words.
– I just wanted to email you…
– Only me, just thought I’d call…
– It might not be a good idea but…
– Ignore this if you want, but…
And so on.
If you want to commit to something, if you want to start something or change something, talk about it in entirely positive terms.
Don’t downplay what you’re about to do out of some misplaced faux-British sense of guilt about success.
Don’t laugh at yourself for being daft, don’t know why I bother, aren’t we idiots for doing this?! Celebrate that you are an interesting, determined individual.
And if you want to be supportive to others, do the same. Don’t scoff “Why would you do that?” because they go to bootcamp in the rain, or are doing anything you don’t do. Share their pride, share their strength and use it for yourself next time you’re struggling for motivation.
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