Stop Self Sabotage and Swimming With Your Brakes On

by Pool Builders on 10-14-2010 in Articles

Did something like this ever happen to you? You're doing something, something you know well how to do (for example, swimming,) and then find out you were making it unnecessarily hard on yourself? That there is a slight change you could make to do it much better and with greater ease?

I see this with my 11th grader daughter all the time, she loves to make whatever she's studying more complicated than it really is. Unfortunately, she hates it when I point this out to her so I have to be careful. But every once in a while she sees it for herself.

You may know that I took up swimming again almost 5 years ago. I joined a master class in Caracas, and it was one of the very best decisions ever! Swimming keeps me slim and sane.

I swam on a team when I was young so I felt confident in the water. Since joining that class, I've been swimming 1 to 4 times a week.

Then 3 weeks ago, one of the trainers at my community pool said he had a suggestion for me. He said I was making my free-style stroke harder on myself. He said the position of my left had was essentially putting a brake on and that i was literally working against myself.

I've always thought of myself as a nearly excellent swimmer, so I was a bit surprised.

Being one to put things into practice, I immediately tried it his way, changing the position of both hands, but particularly paying attention to the left hand.

It felt inefficient, silly, and just plain wrong. It felt like I was swimming with nubs for hands and I wasn't getting any traction. And yet Matt said I was swimming much better that way.

You see, sometimes we do something in a way that feels comfortable, without realizing we're making life harder on ourselves than is necessary.

This happens when i coach public speaking -- the things that can help my clients improve fast, just don't feelright because they've spent so many years giving away their power, or rambling, or slouching, or boring their audiences.

Today the trainer talked to me about my backstroke. I've been doing it the 'wrong" way, too. And I thought I was doing it really well. So many easy changes we can make to make our lives better are invisible to us.

You may have no clue how or why you're selling yourself short and yet you may be wondering why things are turning out the way you want them to.

But then again, if you don't know what you want to experience in life, it really doesn't matter how you do anything.

The only way to stop swimming with the brakes on is to get outside objective and compassionate feedback. Did you ever find out you were swimming with the brakes on?

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