What's holding you back?

I had no intention of writing a post today. 

But then I did something amazing.  

No...I didn't wrestle a lion, find a cure for cancer or invent the Baby Mop. (really wish I had). 

I went for a run

"Oh, is that all?" I hear you say - well here's the deal.  Running used to be my thing, in my early twenties I would run everyday until one day an old knee injury reared its ugly head and put an end to my running routine.   

Years have gone by and running dreams have been forgotten, buried under work and commitments and all those other corners of life. The knee injury became an excuse. Until today.  

I'm not sure what changed, maybe it's all the miles I have been knocking up dog walking or the fact I'm in a good mood because it's Friday and Mr Lovely will be home, or because the sun is shining, but something compelled me to dig out my running shoes and give it a go.  

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But, this time something was different to my previous running experiences - my inner critic decided to be my running partner.  As I stepped out of the house thoughts of fear and shame appeared.  

"What if I look ridiculous?"  

"What if I don't know how to run anymore?" 

"What if someone sees me?" .  

And here's the lesson.... 

When our inner critic makes an appearance, we have a choice to make.  We can listen to it, be convinced by it and then shuffle back into our box. OR we can listen to it, acknowledge it and then go for what we dream with every ounce of conviction we can muster.  

As Mr Downey Jr said.... 

Take my running example...today, when my inner critic said "but your ass alone looks like a hippopotamus in Lycra" , I could have believed it, turned around and curled up on the sofa with a chocolate bar.  Instead my response was "it probably does but I'm doing something about it". 

So I put one foot in front of the other and I ran, all the while chuckling at the image of a Lycra-clad Hippo (well, who wouldn't?).   Did I run far? Not really but it doesn't matter - like anything new or anything we have neglected for a long time, we need to start somewhere.  It doesn't have to be perfect

So my question to you beautiful one, is this... 

What is it that you are letting your inner critic stop you from doing? What area of your life does fear/shame/guilt have the control? What can you do today to tip the balance?  

(ok, so that was 3 questions but who's counting?) 

I'd love to know what this brings up for you - you can leave a comment below or join in the discussion over on the facebook page.  

 *and now I am going to lie down