"I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards."
- Alberto Salazar
When I was a kid, my sport was running. I was a distance runner.
In junior high, my biggest hero was Alberto Salazar. I can still remember sitting glued to the television, watching the New York Marathon as he set the world record (funny how the time still sticks in my head - 2 hours, 8 minutes, 13 seconds). Or the brutal sprint to the finish of the Boston Marathon as he beat Dick Beardsley by a mere two seconds.
In my view, Salazar was super-human.
So when I came across his his quote about his experience at the starting line, it had extra meaning.
I see so many people standing at the starting line (figuratively speaking), too overcome with fear of what the race might be like to cross it. They plug their ears and hum loudly so they won't hear the starting gun.
Often, they make the assumption that they're the only ones feeling that way. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We all feel it. I feel it, and I've talked to many, many people who have done fabulous things in their careers who have felt it as well.
But a funny thing happens when you respond to that starting gun. The fear starts to dissipate. You start to see that you really can make progress. Momentum starts to build, and as I'm fond of saying, action creates opportunity.
And the more you exercise those muscles by taking action, the easier it becomes to keep taking action. Partially because you get more comfortable with what you're doing, and partially because you start to develop more belief that you really can handle the unknown.
We're all cowards at the starting line. The key is acknowledging that and running the race anyway.
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM