Doubts of Today

Doubts of Today

5 Minute Read

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow is our doubts of today." – Franklin D. Roosevelt

The 4th of July is coming! And so, FDR is here to tell us about overcoming self doubt - a lesson he was clearly directing at runners.

His words remind us that our own mindset is the basis for training. This insight is relevant to the Long Run Community, as we all regularly seek challenges, and to push our own mental & physical limits.

Starts and Stops with Mindset

If we doubt our abilities, then progress stops there.

Mindset is the foundation upon which all our efforts are built. If we believe we can't achieve something, this belief will (without question) permeate our actions, and lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Doubts create mental blocks that make training feel impossible, goals unattainable, and the work infinitely harder.

For runners, this can mean the difference between starting a new training plan with confidence, and simply never starting in the first place. The way we perceive ourselves will always, directly, impact our motivation and ability to progress.

Yes, You Too

If you’re thinking to yourself “well, I’ve never doubted myself so much that I simply never started,” then this section is for you.

Oftentimes, self-doubt can be sneaky. One of the ways this impacts even the most seasoned runners, is that it can result in overly-conservative efforts.

Consider This Scenario

You're a seasoned runner. You've put in considerable training, and want a new PR pace. It's race day... But you're nervous. Nerves turn to uncertainty at the start line - uncertainty that you’re really capable of achieving a new personal record. At best, it's going to hurt. At best, it'll be very, very hard. And what do you subconsciously do? Start out too fast. Or, hold yourself back in an effort to conserve energy. Because inherently, you’re not confident. And so, self doubt has found a way to prevent you from pushing your own limits.

Addressing self-doubt is crucial for maintaining motivation and achieving our goals.

Practical Steps to Overcome Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is like an argument with ourselves. And what’s the best way to win any argument? With clear proof.

To overcome self-doubt we must build an undeniable stack of proof in our favor. This includes personal wins, accomplishments, and running-related milestones. Confidence naturally builds, and self-doubt is much more easily identified and silenced.

To build your stack of proof and shift your self perception, it is wise to start with the easiest goal we can, that is still difficult enough to introduce doubt.

Identify that goal. Accomplish it. Prove to yourself that you can do it. This small victory becomes the foundation upon which you can build more significant achievements.

As you stack these wins, you gather evidence of your capabilities. Each success bolsters your confidence and diminishes the power of self-doubt. This becomes proof that you’re someone who can do more than you think, and your identity as a runner will shift.

Final Thoughts

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow is our doubts of today." – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt's words serve as a powerful reminder that our mindset shapes our future. As runners, we commit to building a strong, positive mindset, and tackle our training with confidence.

Identifying self doubt (and knowing how to beat it) will help us build a routine we love, and train consistently. With consistency, we build passion.



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