A handful of years ago, preparing to run Grandma’s Marathon on the North Shore of Minnesota, my training began with two and three-mile runs. In those early training days, I couldn’t run 26.2 miles at a time… two and three miles were an accomplishment on their own. Finishing those first runs, I’d land in a pile on the living room floor.
Building endurance and strength over time, five, six, and seven-mile runs became comfortable. Eventually, I broke double-digits and transitioned from the teens to my twenty-mile training runs. At that point, two and three-mile runs had become easy. What was initially hard was now comfortable.
Apply that to where you’re at today.
If you’re an entrepreneur, look at how far you’ve come since you launched your business.
If you’re part of a team, look at everything you’ve learned since starting your career.
If you’re a leader, look at all the experiences you’ve picked up over the years.
In each example, there are things that overwhelmed you when you started that no longer cause you dread. The challenges that seemed big early on are now just speedbumps. You’ve encountered them before, you know how to manage them, and you’re stronger than when you began. Just like those two and three-mile runs eventually became easy, the challenges that kept you up at night when you started no longer have power over you.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t more challenges coming your way. Growth comes with discomfort. What it does mean is that yesterday’s big things are today’s small ones. And, fast-forwarding a year or two out, the challenges that feel like twenty-mile runs today will feel like two and three-mile runs tomorrow.
Keep going, look back at how far you’ve come, and celebrate your way into 2024.
As we wrap up one year and prepare for the next, reflect on how far you’ve come. Think about where you started, look at all your gains, and celebrate the wins you’ve picked up along the way. Remember what you’ve learned from yesterday’s biggest challenges, and step into the future with all the confidence that comes from facing those challenges head-on.