Let's face it. A lot of people give up on life and never reach their potential. They get beaten down by adversity, failure, and even by the prisons they create in their own mind.
In short, they die before they are dead.
You've seen people like this before - they become walking shells of their former self and no longer seem to have purpose or drive in life. They seek comfort and any time they have a chance to break out or break through from the chains holding them down, they shy away from the opportunity. It truly is a vicious cycle that can drag people down to the depths of depravity. Many can never escape it.
But this state can be broken and people can once again find themselves, their purpose, meaning, and drive in life. It takes work and a willingness to understand their situation and confront it - but things can change.
The biggest place the battle is won is your mind. What happens to people when they end up in this situation is that they have created habits and subsconcious reactions that keep them in this state. For example, people will create habits of staying away from opportunities or not taking a chance to improve themselves and over time, these become habits. The subconscious mind then supports these habits by creating the reactions that keep them in force. So, for example, if someone is given an opporunity to find new meaning and purpose, their subsconcious will create a response that keeps them from taking action on it. It may be fear, worry, or doubt, but it re-enforces the thinking of not wanting to change the status quo - and thus keeps people trapped.
The only way out of this is to take back control and not let yourself be run by programming that you did not actually choose to have. And of course, it is easier said then done.
So, what does someone do to breakout?
First, they have to come to grips with where things are and decide they want to change it. From there, it is all about replacing the bad habits with good habits and retraining the subsconcious. It all comes down to recognizing those times where you have the opportunity to break out and your subsconcious tries to reel you back in and in those moments having the courage to push forward and through. This is incredibly hard the first few times, but gets easier as time goes on. Once you start to do this, you start to recognize the ways your mind is literally sabotaging you and can begin to choose the thoughts you want to have.
Racing Ironman taught me how to do this well as there are many times, especially after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, that I am deep into my marathon and my mind starts to challenge me. It wants me to quit because, especially if I am going at a faster pace than normal, it thinks I am going to hurt myself or not make it. It is in these moments where I know I must push through and in doing so, I increase my self-imposed limitation levels - until the next time I hit them where I have to do it again and so on. The first time was the hardest, but now I have seen the amazing benefits of powering through and that is what has allowed me to get better and better each race climbing the ranks to be top in the world.
We must overcome the limitations we put on ourselves and never allow ourselves to die before we are dead!
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