The Power of Suggestion

The power of suggestion always amazes me. For example, when someone says, “don’t think of a blue elephant” the only thing you can ever think about is a blasted blue elephant. But even in normal conversation, if you plant a suggestion in someone’s mind, and if they’re listening completely to you, then that thought will rattle around in their mind until they actively do something with it. I was watching Sherlock on BBC on Sunday, and he said, “you can’t kill an idea,” and this is true. Once it’s in someone’s mind there’s very little they can do.

Well, I experienced the power of suggestion first-hand yesterday. I was waiting in the playground ready to collect my son from school, and a mum that I know was talking about marathon running. I was expressing a suitable amount of awe, and also disbelief for why anyone would put themselves through the training and the accompanying pain, when, out of the blue, she suggested to me that I should have a go at it. I laughed at the time and walked away with nothing further from my mind.

But, oh, that niggling suggestion. Later, yesterday evening, I ended up thinking ‘why not?’ I couldn’t think of many reasons why not, apart from time commitment, injuries, fear of failure, too cold, never done it before, self-doubt, and not fit enough. Unfortunately, as an NLP Coach, you cannot let yourself get away with these types of comments to yourself… because I know that they’re all excuses. I then began to reframe the challenge in my mind, so instead of the negatives I began to concentrate on the amazing sense of achievement that it would give me, the improved fitness that I would benefit from, the motivational effect that it will have on my clients, the amount of money that I could raise for charity, and the overwhelming sense of pride that I would have in myself. These are all good things that can’t be sniffed at.

So, I am going to run a marathon. It will be the Brighton Marathon on Sunday April 15th, which means I have exactly three months to get ready for it. I am 34, so I’m not too old, however this is relative. If I was a footballer, I’d be struggling to find another contract at my age, but if I was a tortoise then I’d be a mere whipper-snapper, and everyone knows that the tortoise beat the hare.

With a surge of excitement, that can only be compared to a caged tiger being released after a long voyage across an ocean, I began straight away last night by running 10km. It took me 54 mins, and I felt alright during it. This morning I feel as though an elephant has been sleeping on my legs during the night, but I’m sure that this will pass as my body begins to get used to the regular torture that I am now going to subject it to.

I will keep this blog updated almost daily with my progress, and look forward to sharing my success as it draws nearer. I am going to use NLP techniques along the way to motivate myself and get my mind prepared so that it will be aligned to the physical training.

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