Dead F----- Last

Life Coaching is about changing thoughts, shifting perceptions, and breaking down goals into bite size pieces.  As a coach, I don’t have the answers for my clients. I’m certainly not smarter than them. And although I hope to inspire, I’m not a cheerleader.

A good coach brings value by helping us see things differently.  And in that moment of seeing things from a different perspective, we experience insight - sight from within - and instantly what we thought was “the truth” doesn’t seem so true anymore.  In that gap, a new possibility is born.

2 days ago, I completed an endurance race that had been haunting me for 4 years (refer to my last blog, Burn The Boats).  I finished as what is lovingly referred to as DFL, (dead f----- last). This was a race that I had quit midway in the past, and was completely out of my comfort zone.  My only goal was to finish it under the 12.5 hour cut off.  I was elated to finish at 11.57 and cried tears of joy at the finish line.

But it didn’t take long for the Gremlins to show up.  “What are you proud of? Finishing last? Since when is that something to be proud of?”  This little sentence began to take a life of its own, and insidiously rob me of my joy. It didn’t matter that all my friends, family, and clients were proud of me.  The voice inside my head wouldn’t allow me to enjoy what in everyone else’s eyes was an accomplishment.

In classic human form, my first instinct was to make myself feel better by playing with the numbers.  Well, I said to myself, out of 385 Finishers, only 89 were women, and only 12 were in my age group. Furthermore, 71 runners never started and 47 didn’t finish.  

This shifted my mindset and made me feel better, until it didn’t.  And that’s the problem with changing our thoughts on a superficial level.  So I did what any smart person would do and called my own coach. A conversation with him, took me back to what we all know to be true deep inside our soul (but sometimes forget).

The Gremlin that whispers. “You’re not good enough” will not be quieted by any external validation.  No result, no hour on that clock, and no admiration from friends is ever enough, if we don’t do the internal work of creating a new thought.  A thought that comes from a place of compassion and empathy, a place of understanding and love.  

For me that new thought, came slow, but it went something like this. “Whether you finished last, first or in the middle, you’re the same person and you’re good enough”.


Carolyn Mahboubi