Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Left Brain vs. My Right Brain: An Epic Battle

In 2003 I completed the NYC Marathon in an epic 5:13, yes hours! At one point I am pretty sure a grandmother with a walker passed me followed shortly thereafter by a turtle. But I finished and that's truly all that matters. I was living and working in Kansas City at the time and had the luxury of not having to be at work until 9:00am.  I would train in the morning before work with shorter runs and then do longer ones on the weekend. Even then, I still didn't get up as early as I do now.

I utilized Jeff Galloway's training model and it was during this time that I first realized there was a battle going on inside my head between the left and right sides of my brain. The left side would hijack my workouts and suggest every possible logical reason I could think of for why I should not train that day, why I could slow down, or heck even just stop running altogether. And that assumes my left brain even let me get out of bed to begin with. Had Jeff's book not warned me about this I probably never would have completed the race (if you can even call it that, I was going so slow).

Since then, I've rekindled the left vs. right battle mostly when training for sprint triathlons but I've also realized it actually creeps into other parts of my life and especially into my career. I constantly hear me telling myself things like "You don't have the skills for that job," "Don't put yourself out there," "It's a waste of  time to try and network," "You'll never get that job." There's a battle of logical negativity rattling around my head and all the while my right brain is seemily wandering around with thoughts about any number of inconsequential topics. It takes a concerted effort to rise up above the logical left side of your brain and without that effort you run the risk of letting the left win.

Luckily the solution is actually very simple. At least the one I use is simple. I can't even remember how I came up with it. I've created a catch phrase, a catch word actually, that I repeat to myself over and over when I feel the left rising up. It's simply: "Yes." I say it over and over, sometimes adding things like "Yes I can" or "You can do it". I use it heading into interviews, preparing for presentations, even sitting alone at my desk. You would be shocked at the sheer power this positive suggestion has to overcome my logical left brain negativity.

If you don't already, start paying attention to the messages your left side is sending. If you find that those messages are counterproductive, start a war and stop them. It will help you get things done and get you closer to reaching your goals.

Trust me.

You can do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment