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No More Stairs

I am not a fan of running stairs. Hate is an overly excessive word so I am not going to use that, but suffice to say I do not ‘leap’ out of bed excited for my calves to ache or my legs to burn. In fact, I used to have a hilarious dialogue every morning with my ‘inner self’ about it. It went something like this: ME: Ok, time to get up. INNER VOICES: WHYYYYYYYYYYYY ME: It isn’t THAT bad INNER VOICES: We can do the stairs tomorrow. ME: But we WON’T do them tomorrow. INNER VOICES: Sure we will. Or maybe even later today. Hey - you don’t have to do anything until 8am…we could totally sleep another hour…you did all that planning yesterday, remember? Reward yourself! You know you can trust yourself to take care of this later…. ME: Maybe……..NO NO NO!!!! On and on it went. It made it 200x harder to get up or get my stairs done. The crazy part is that I KNEW it was going to happen. Truth be told It still DOES happen if I don’t take steps to ensure otherwise. Why? I prefer to live in ‘ease’ when possible. Giving myself time to think means my inner me steps up with beautiful options - wiggle room to interpret my actions in such a way that I can escape any guilt should I not live up to what I intended to do originally. Options that let me stay in the grey area of my commitment (and in bed). Which is where the problems start. The grey area of commitment is one many of us are familiar with. It is the space where things still get done, but ‘a bit later’ then intended (hey, the deadline was STILL met, right?!) or not as well as intended (the criteria was STILL met, right?!). It is one more snooze button or one less flight of stairs when training. It is not a sell out on the surface, but is DEFINITELY a sell out when held up to the original intention. I KNOW when I am doing it. Even if I pretend I don’t. Which is why, if I sell out on my original intentions, I feel the need to ‘justify’ or seek retroactive proof that my choices were the right ones. That I HAD to do things that way. Looking at the past and creating ‘proof’ of rightness is a form of cognitive distortion (self-lie, deliberately skewed way of interpreting an event). It is allowing myself to live in the grey zone. The more I live in the grey zone, the more I can buy into these types of distortions. By permitting the charade to go on long enough, my actions no longer sit in the grey zone at all, but fully and squarely out of integrity. It is a slippery slope. Buying into fake stories makes them feel REAL. Even when those around me may provide feedback that says otherwise. If left unattended, the inclination to indulge in further cognitive distortions or ‘storytelling’ grows and extends to those who challenge my loose bond with my word. This may sound like, ‘they don’t understand’, ‘they have no idea what I am feeling/going through’, ‘they’re so judgmental’, ‘they never liked me’, ‘like they could do any better’, ‘they are trying to control me’ and so on and so on. Justifying myself out of my commitments doesn’t just stop at one ’thing’ - such as doing stairs. Grey-zoning hits as many parts of life as it is allowed to enter. Business. Parenting. Relationships. Health. Finances. Nothing is free from the slide if I do not deliberately and consciously do something about it. I have found the way to avoid this cognitive shit show is to move so decisively on my intentions the voices have no chance to kick in. To get up without hesitation so the internal discussion does not take place. No snooze button, no luxuriating under the covers ‘just for one moment’ and no thoughts of woe or victim at how early it is or how tired I am. The clock turns. BOOM! I am up. I am out of bed. Zero hesitation. No conversation. I totally get that not everything in life can be as decisive as getting out of bed. Yet I would wager a fair price that the way the majority of us get up is a darn close reflection to the way we live our lives (whether we like it or not). Do we procrastinate, make excuses and feel victimized? Or do we boldly embrace discomfort in the pursuit of our goals and dreams? After all, how we do one thing is how we do everything. Waking up and (in my case) stairs included. Xo Anna

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