Believe It: You are a Runner

Despite your running accomplishments and practices, do you ever find yourself saying, “I’m not really a runner,” “I got lucky,” or similar phrases? That’s self-doubt and imposter syndrome rearing its nasty head, and it can hinder your goals by convincing you that you aren’t good enough.

Imposter syndrome is a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. And experts concur it’s all too common in running more than most sports.

The technical definition of a runner is “a person who runs, especially for sports or pleasure.” You are a runner by definition.

If you are waiting to reach some arbitrary level to call yourself a runner — stop right now.

Empower your language

Defeating imposter syndrome starts with reframing your self-worth. Instead of phrases like, “I’m not that good,” empower your language to reflect your worth and confidence. Language can shape your reality and create a more positive mindset.

Show up as your most confident self

Picture the most confident version of yourself and when that person shows up. Now, channel that energy each time you lace up. Bring that confident individual running.

Practice mindfulness

While running, you probably check in on your breathing or foot placement. Your mind also deserves periodic check-ins. Notice how you’re feeling, the silence when you have the trail to yourself or the bright flowers blooming in spring.

Own your success

Celebrate when you hit a personal best or even just finish. And no, you’re not boasting when you acknowledge your accomplishments — you worked for them.

Ease up on social media

Of course, comparison to others is human nature. It can show you what is possible and even motivate you. But let’s face it, too much can make you lose sight of your successes and spark self-doubts and negative thoughts.

Take care of yourself

Eat healthy. You need quality fuel to stay in shape. You’ll feel better about your accomplishments knowing you are healthy.

Forget validation

Your goal is to be the best you can be — there’s no single finish line for that. Maybe you didn’t do as well as you wanted? Recognize that there are always more starting lines. Embrace your defeats and know that triumphs go along with them.

For a good read to help you tackle runner imposter syndrome, check out “The Happy Runner” by David and Megan Roche. Learn to be a little kinder to yourself, negotiate setbacks and stay realistic, motivated and positive.