Get Out of Your Own Way

My dad sent me this article today and he aptly titled the e-mail "Get Out of Your Own Way." I've read a few really stimulating articles recently - one of them was Gabe Jennings' interview in the July issue of Runner's World (Jennings is a truly fantastic example of an elite athlete who balances life with sport in his own, unconvetional method), and one of them was this article regarding decision-making. It was so fascinating, in fact, that I skipped a post I've been working on for weeks to share it with you.

My parents and I had a conversation a few days ago about how I constantly "get in my own way" when I'm trying to learn something new. Triathlon is absolutely one of the biggest places in my life where I "get in my own way." In other words, I fret so much about making the right decisions/actions that I often end up doing nothing. According to the article, I already know what I need to do, which is what my first LMHC once told me: "Your brain knows what you're going to do 10 seconds before you are aware of it." Also, "Psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis and his co-workers at the University of Amsterdam reported in the journal Science that it is not always best to deliberate too much before making a choice."

The article goes on to say: ". . . . . Such experiments suggest that our best reasons for some choices we make are understood only by our cells. The findings lend credence to researchers who argue that many important decisions may be best made by going with our gut -- not by thinking about them too much. Dutch researchers led by psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis at the University of Amsterdam recently found that people struggling to make relatively complicated consumer choices -- which car to buy, apartment to rent or vacation to take -- appeared to make sounder decisions when they were distracted and unable to focus consciously on the problem.

"Moreover, the more factors to be considered in a decision, the more likely the unconscious brain handled it all better, they reported in the peer-reviewed journal Science in 2006. 'The idea that conscious deliberation before making a decision is always good is simply one of those illusions consciousness creates for us,' Dr. Dijksterhuis said."

But isn't consciousness itself an illusion?

Perhaps Nike's marketing team was reaching deeper than they realized when they began the "Just Do It" campaign.

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