Today I went for a bike ride. A 23.5 mile bike ride to be precise for Hospice in the Weald. I wanted to challenge myself and do something outdoorsy and a few weeks ago it seemed like a good idea. Yesterday - having not had time to do any training barring a ride on Easter weekend - it didn't seem such a good idea. But being my normal stubborn self, I knew I had to show up! I was expecting it to be hard and challenging. I was expecting hills, wobbly legs and a lot of sweating. All if which I got! But what I wasn't expecting was the mindset lessons that the two and a half hours on a bike in the Kent countryside would teach me.
We always think that the uphill parts of a bike ride are the most challenging. And in some respects they very much are. They are physically demanding on the body, our breath quickens, the legs burn, every part of you wants to give up. They are the bits we dread and fear.
However, what I noticed in the downhill parts of the bike ride got me far more curious.
Isn't going downhill supposed to be easy?
When I was going up hill I dug deep. I found strength and power when I didn't know I would have it. I knew that no matter what I had to keep plugging away and that was hard, I wanted to give up, but I didn't.
Mindset is EVERYTHING when it comes to challenging situations, and I knew that this was not a test of my fitness and strength, but a test of my resilience and courage when it comes to pushing the boundaries in my mind.
The ironic thing was, it came to the downhill bits, once the hard work had been done, the climb was finished and it was supposed to be the 'easy' bit. I found myself putting the brakes on.
I found myself stopping myself mid flow. I held myself back. I got scared of the forward momentum. I stalled. I slowed myself down. I refused to let go and surrender to the easy part of the ride - despite having worked my absolute arse off to get there.
I was scared about the pot holes, the terrain being un-level, the prospect of going out of control, the speed that it could build up. And of course these are all valid points, but I wasn't believing in my legs, my co-ordination, my skill sets to keep me safe and on the right path. I wasn't allowing myself to trust the process!
I couldn't help but smile and laugh at his. Why would I put the brakes on and halt my progress when I had worked so hard to get there?
Letting go... just a little
So I dared myself to ease off the brakes. I dared myself to just allow the wheels to flow, the speed to build, the exhilaration to arrive. I allowed myself to enjoy the easy bits after doing the work. And it felt pretty damn good!
I can't help but relate this to life and business. I can't help but question how much we put the brakes on our own progress, despite having done so much of the work already. Why shouldn't it be easy? Why are we scared to let go and allow the momentum to flow? What is constantly telling us to just put the brakes on a little to slow down our progress?
Is it belief? Is it fear? Is it self sabotage? Is it because it is 'safer' when it is hard because we are are used to 'struggling'? And 'who are we' to have it easy?
I don't have all the answers, but I am sure that this awareness will lead me to greater places.
So ask yourself this... where are you putting the brakes on in your life?
Today reminded me that we have to be prepared to do something different, and to challenge ourselves in order to realise just how strong and powerful we can be.
It also reminded me that I need to buy some padded shorts!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment below or ping me an email if you want to chat about this further! (or if you want to join me on my next 'life lesson bike ride'!!!!)
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