We’ve all been through it, especially at the start of our very first triathlon race when we arrived at transition with all those other racers. We wondered what we got ourselves into. We questioned our sanity. But most of all, we questioned whether we truly belonged with all these people who seemed so sure of themselves and so sure of their place in the triathlon world.
We ask ourselves, “Do we belong here?”
I’m here to tell you that you do belong to the sport of triathlon. Our own self conscious can be debilitating. Our inner dialogue can often get pretty heated and it can be hard to talk down our own self-doubts about many things in our lives, including our ability to be a triathlete.
Despite the fact that most of us go through this self-doubt more than once in our life, it’s important to know how to combat it when it rears its ugly head. There’s no shame in having self-doubt. The trick is to get rid of it before it drags you down with it. Here’s how:
Accept that we all have self-doubt. The sooner that you realize this, the sooner you can take the next steps to get beyond its power and scope. Contrary to popular belief, recognizing self-doubt does not make us weaker; in fact it sets up as being more able to deal with it.
Trust Your Training
This is one of my favorite triathlon mottos. Many people get so hung up with the races and whether or not they’ll even finish them that they forget somehow that they’ve been training for weeks or months for this particular event. You’ve swam. You’ve biked. You’ve run. You know the drill. There are usually no surprises during triathlon races. Trust in your training and you’ll be able to show those self-doubts that you know what you’re doing.
Race With Someone
Nothing will help you overcome your self-doubts better than having someone (a friend, family member, co-worker) alongside you suffering with you, whether it be during training or during the even itself. You will have moments of doubt and weakness. During these times, you partner can lift you up and carry you along. When your partner is going through rough times in training or racing, you can be there to lift him or her up.
Don’t forget that the most important thing about the sport of triathlon is to have fun pushing the limits of what you thought your body was capable of. Don’t lose sight of what triathlon can give you: a new perspective on life, yourself, and what you are and what you can become.