Louize Carroll - Month Nine Plan
EPISODE NINE – PSYCHOLOGY SESSION PLAN
Dear Marathon Mind Listener,
Welcome back to the ‘Mind’ section of Marathon Mind!
My dear Marathon Minders – this is the last psychology plan in your MM journey! We’re nearly there, and it seems both so long ago and only yesterday that I was writing the first plan. There is something about the pandemic process that has warped time as we know it and our perception of how quickly or slowly it moves. And as I reflect on what I want to say to you, I find myself wondering how you’re all feeling. How this time has been for you. Where are your heads at.
It can be strange writing letters out for the programme as it feels like an abyss, a space where the words might find a place to land, or they might float, suspended in time forever more! But however they land, I hope most of all that you have felt that this journey has been worth it, and that you have gained even just one piece of self knowledge from it. After all – that is what makes adventures meaningful and what prepares us even more wholeheartedly for whatever else lie up ahead for us in this wild and fascinating world we live in.
Jitters in the Tapering Phase & The Power of Less
When we really want to achieve something, and we feel it is within our capability to do so, we put energy, focus, time and resources into it.
We gear ourselves towards the desired outcome, and we likely sacrifice several activities, social gatherings and events, parties and even holidays and other such life perks in pursuit of the goal. Such dedication is impressive, such commitment to the cause, to the ambition – it’s inspiring for others to watch and it’s satisfying for you to attain. So much so, that easing your foot off the pedal feels precarious. As though you’re allowing all your gains thus far to slip through the net. But this is not so.
There is a counter-intuitive phenomenon that has long since intrigued me, and it is the idea that sometimes doing LESS of what you’re working towards, actually increases positive results. In essence, stopping or slowing down on the thing that has been taking all of your focus, can actually make you perform better at it.
As a self-confessed recovering workaholic, I would batter the life out of the work that was in front of me, rather than ever consider stepping away from it. Oh no, my misguided drive was to flog the hell out of it until I sometimes eventually preferred to hallucinate the answer. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it would absolutely not and I would end up with sub-creative work, and a sleep deprived mood storm affecting me, as well as everyone around me. Not cool.
Sometimes you need to step away from the urgent dilemma for an hour in order to see how to move forward. Taking some space and time away from the people you love allows you to come back and see them fully and wholly, and appreciate them for all they are. Creative blocks are lessened when the creator channels their energy into a piece of art instead of the piece of music they were stuck on for the past three days.
Equally – the tapering phase as you approach November 13 after the last 8 months of consistent training not only prepares your muscles, tissues, joints and ligaments restoring them to their optimal state, it can actually help you to gain mental and emotional perspective on your entire journey so far, before you hit the big finish line.
So at the risk of sounding like a broken record, TRUST THE PROCESS.
The Importance of Ceremony
Back in March, in my very first psychology plan, I asked you all to begin with figuring out what your values are, what matters to you and to write a letter to yourself, since all significant adventures become more meaningful when we get clear on why we are doing them.
We are now at the end of our journey and our time together, and last month I also asked you to spend a little time reflecting on all the elements that you have experienced.
The highs, the lows, the challenges, the pain, the joy, the surprise, the frustrations, the fears and the resistance. Reflect on it all – why? Because it makes it real. It grounds you in what you have just accomplished so far, and what you are about to do.
The curse of the pandemic has meant that several milestone events have come and gone in people’s lives without being marked properly. Without celebration, and without recognition. And when we don’t have ceremony around something of value, something that is important to us, we lose a sense of acknowledgement for what we have worked hard at and it can wither our motivation. But make no mistake about it – it doesn’t have to be some sort of elaborate event – we can give ourselves that ceremony! A personal review and reflection on just how powerful you have been this last year, despite the challenges and despite the doubt.
November 13th will be a momentous occasion of determination and celebration, not just because there is a finish line that you will hopefully cross over for your own satisfaction, but because you have all gone on this journey not individually, but actually so collectively, and for the first time you will all feel the power of that collective.
A REVIEW: THIS IS ALL THE PSYCHOLOGY THAT IS IN YOUR HEAD NOW!
Because I never want to miss an opportunity to remind people of how far they’ve come in their own lives, allow me to remind you of all you have been learning. Since I introduced myself to you in March, this is what we have covered together:
1. The reasons and intrinsic motivations for why you wanted to train for a marathon.
2. Your Values
3. Your Goals
4. The Importance of Freeplay
5. Spotting your inner critic
6. Spotting your avoidance tactics that trip you up in relationships or plans
7. I hope you’re still meeting you’re meeting your basic needs!
8. The Role and Influence of FEAR – and how to be more like an antelope, doesn’t’ give a f*%k once the tiger has disappeared again.
9. How resistance pops up in your life
10. The Willingness to experience and hold the tough emotions
11. Clean versus Dirty Emotions, i.e. the guilt (dirty) about the anger.
12. Your Inner World – check in every now and again.
13. The Wolf You Feed – helping you to live in line with what matters to you.
14. Fighting and battling difficult emotions makes them worse.
15. Thoughts are not facts and feelings do not predict the future.
16. The only question you need when you’re in the thick of self-criticism: Is the thought you’re having right now helping you get to where you want to go?
17. You need no-one’s permission to take control of your own life.
18. How to short-circuit thoughts – remember buzzkill broadcast and saying painful thoughts in a silly accent or voice?
19. The two parts of you – watch yourself doing the thinking and telling yourself the same old stories – that part of you watching, can choose to DO something different.
20. The Tortoise and the Hare, the Hare is your wild mind, and the tortoise is committed, steady and purposeful action.
21. You learned about how to regulate your nervous system.
22. Look for the beauty in the space between, in the non-obvious places in life.
23. Know yourself. Spend time learning about who you are, what you want, how you sacrifice yourself or how you get in your own way. This will stand to you forever more.
And so my Marathon Minders, we have come to the end of the psychology journey of this programme.
Thank you for coming along with me, for trusting in this work and for adding to the spirit and the energy of this entire programme. It’s been a pleasure to guide you, I really truly hope it has helped you as well as held you in your own development and personal discovery and I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can in Mullingar on November 13th.
When your legs are wobbly – remember why you’re doing this. Get out of your head, you’ve got this.