Suck it up isn’t a term you expect to find on a self-love blog and to be fair it’s not a term I use regularly but right now it’s relevant both to me and to my clients. The reason I say this is because I have a goal. What I refer to as a MAD (Mammoth And Demanding) goal. Many of my clients have MAD goals too.
The thing I have discovered about MAD goals, particularly personal ones as opposed to those we set at work, is they take a LOT of effort, like a lotta lot of effort. There’s no magic fairy dust when it comes to MAD goals. Well, maybe there’s a sprinkling from the Universe but aside from that, we’re on our own. MAD goals take relentless consistency, focus and passion and they often mean we need to do things we just don’t like doing. And that right there is where we run into trouble.
At work we get paid to hit targets, deliver objectives and achieve the mission. There’s a reward, a pot of gold and maybe even a thank you from the boss (maybe) and so we get on with things we don’t like doing because it’s our job and we get paid for it. I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than crunch data, yet in my previous role as a business consultant, crunch data I did, because it was part of the job and I couldn’t let my clients down.
In contrast when we set personal MAD goals, there’s no monthly pay packet, no thank yous and no appraisals with the boss. We have to do it because we WANT to do it, because we know that when we achieve it, it will feel better than any monetary reward. The difficulty is, convincing ourselves that the reward will be sweet when we’re faced with the tasks we truly dislike. In this instance, we can be brilliant at letting ourselves down, throwing in the towel and blaming the fact that it’s just too hard.
Yep! MAD goals are hard. Achieving them is hard. Doing things we don’t like doing is hard. BUT, if these things help us get to the destination, surely they are worth digging deep for? And if we already have a blueprint for doing things we dislike in a work capacity, we have proven we are capable of doing so. So what’s the excuse for not transferring this amazing skill to suck it up and get on with to our personal endeavours too?
Let me provide an example. In May this year, I blew the cobwebs off my kettlebells which I had conveniently ignored for over a year and decided to give them another whirl. Kettlebell sport is tough and pretty demanding on the body. Flinging 14kg plus lumps of iron above your head multiple times is not easy. In my previous blog you will have read that I managed to bag a silver medal in the EKA British Open Championship Pentathlon.
Now I make no bones of the fact that I am fiercely competitive and so I came away from the championships wanting to take it further. A few weeks later the MAD goal was set. I will qualify for the England Kettlebell Marathon Team by lifting a 16kg bell at least 360 times in 30 minutes and then I’ll represent England at the International Kettlebell Marathon Federation European Championships which take place in Paris in May 2019. For someone that has been overweight and unfit for most of her adult life, it’s a pretty MAD goal.
I love kettlebell lifting and whilst the training is tough, I enjoy it, it’s not something I dislike. So what’s my point? Where’s the pain?
Well, I have to keep my cardio fitness at a decent level in order to have the stamina to keep lifting for 30 minutes. I also need mental strength because 15 minutes into the marathon my body is willing me to drop the bell. So how do I kill both birds with one stone? By running!
I really don’t like running. I’ve tried it many times. I find it mind numbingly boring and hard, even with an audio book blaring in my ears. I have to will myself to set off and will myself even harder to keep going. And so it’s pretty crazy to decide that to achieve my MAD goal I’ll need to run 10km a week. Decide that I have however and I’ll get it done through gritted teeth because it will help me achieve the outcome I desire. It will help me win my place on the England team. When it’s freezing, raining and dark outside, I will do it anyway.
The same principle applied when I was losing weight. If I wanted to drop the pounds I needed to do things I didn’t like doing, like saying no to cake, chocolate and pizza for over a year.
Doing things we don’t like doing is par for the course and if it helps us grow, flourish and fulfil our desires it’s surely worth it? So we’ll conclude as we started with the fabulous term that is Suck it up, Buttercup!
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