Running in the Rain

          4:45am –The alarm goes off. My eyes open and the first waking moment of my day is greeted with Whitney Houston’s ‘I just wanna dance with somebody’. Feelin good. Got a big day ahead – 3.5 hour train ride to Bathurst and back. Gotta get my run in. I wake up, throw some water on my face. Feelin good. I am excited about this run – gonna do some sprint work. What’s that noise I hear? Sounds like rain. I look outside – all quiet on the western front (no rain). Hmmm. Throw on my shoes, stretch for a minute. Feelin good. Stepping out my front door, the noise is louder. It definitely sounds like rain but I don’t see a drop. Ah well, head to the lift. Going down. 3rd floor. 2nd floor. 1st floor. Ground floor. Feelin good. Ready to smash these sprints. Man it sounds like a monsoon out there though. Looking through my apartment building door – it’s a torrential downpour.

In a pivotal moment, I had two paths in front of me. I could listen to fearful thinking – afraid to get wet and become a bit cold and damp. Or I could take a first step into the waterfall, and take an invigorating run in the rain. I decided to run in the rain, and as most rain runs go, it was amazing.

This is a short post about fear. I’d argue that the single biggest block to productivity is not poor time management, procrastination, or lack of will power. No, the biggest block to productivity is fear. It is fear that keeps us from moving forward and achieving our daily plans and larger life dreams. Some fears are small – working out, completing an assignment, or even running in the rain. Other fears can be gargantuan – big life goals, commitment to relationships, success at work.

I have found one of the best ways to be productive is to practice pushing through fear. Like any other skill, pushing through fear can be developed by practice. The more things I am afraid of and do anyway, the more energy, motivation, and personal leverage I have to tackle the next fear.  For a long time, I had a fear of writing. To get through that fear, I developed a daily habit of writing at least 300 words per day. While sometimes I am still nervous when I start any new document, generally now I am relaxed and comfortable transforming thoughts into text.

I have listed here just a few ways to practice working through fears. Be creative, come up with your own.

Simple Ways to Practice Pushing Through Fear:

  1. Take a Cold Shower

  2. Go for a walk or run in the pouring rain

  3. Talk to a stranger

  4. Work out when you are feeling lazy.

  5. Ask yourself – What am I afraid of right now? then do that thing.

  6. Make a phone call to someone you don’t want to.

  7. Practice math

  8. Take on new projects

  9. Develop a new skill

Happy Working,

-PY

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