As runners and as human beings, we often look up to others for motivation and guidance. But what if we could be our own source of inspiration? What if we could accept that the highest version of ourselves can be the beacon of hope, knowledge and inspiration that we so often seek outside ourselves?
When I hear myself "talk running" to others, my voice is full of encouragement and support. I cheer others on, offer advice, and uplift them in their moments of doubt. I tell them to keep going, to push through the pain and discomfort, and to believe in themselves. This comes from a place of belief and firsthand experience that ordinary people can achieve incredible things.
Similarly, when I "talk life," I am conscious of my words, speaking with compassion, understanding, and also with a strong sense of the incredible opportunities, beauty, happiness, purpose, and greatness we can all aspire to. It's a genuine sparkle of excitement, a remnant from the childhood sea of possibilities.
In private, do I talk to myself in the same way? Of course not, or at least not enough, like most of us.
Without falling into disillusion or just positive thinking for the sake of positive thinking, maybe it's worth spending more time with the highest version of ourselves. And occasionally ask him/her for advice: What would you do in this situation? The hardest part is probably accepting and seriously evaluating the answer, particularly when it challenges our current circumstances, personal tendencies, and inertia (this may be a hint it is the right advice). Give that advice a similar weight to that of others.
At some point, we can accept that we are strong, beautiful, worthy, and enough. And that's okay; it doesn't necessarily have to be narcissistic or egotistic.
We can write and live our own mantra or quote for ourselves.