Change your thoughts, change your life
How many of you get paralysed with fear in certain situations? Whether it be in life, or on the start line of your biggest race of the year? All of us have experienced fear and fear comes in many forms.
If we look at the fear experienced on the start line of your major race, we can associate that fear to not wanting to fail – if we fail, we will disappoint ourselves, the people we love and everyone around us. If we disappoint these people, we fear losing their love or respect. Yes, it goes that deep. People have the power to choose what they think, believe and feel. In an instant, we can change the meaning of something, to positively influence our experience.
“Step away from your fear, and step into your superhero costume.” – Siri Lindley
For instance, at that moment when you feel paralysed with fear, you have a choice. Let that fear hold you back from giving everything you have towards being the best that you can be on that day – protect yourself. If you don’t fully put yourself out there, you won’t put yourself in danger of failing. If you don’t take big risks, you can feel safe, and comfortable. The problem is that the consequences of shrinking yourself to avoid failure are far worse, than the consequences of taking a leap of faith, going all-in and risking failure.
Why? Because if you don’t lay it all out there, how will you ever know what you are truly capable of? How will you grow? It is by going all in, by taking risks, and tempting failure, that we grow. When we fail, we learn, this is when we grow. It is through problems or disappointment that we become connected to our greatest desires, and what needs to be done to get from where we are to where we want to be.
If you sit back, and don’t risk at all, and let your fear hold you back from fully expressing your passion, the consequences are far more severe – feelings of inadequacy, stagnation, or weakness. Disappointment in yourself for not having the courage to step into the unknown and see what you can do!
By letting your fear “bench you”, you will never know just how far or how fast you can go, or how tough you can be. You will sit safely in the bud and will never truly be able to realise your potential. The moment we change the meaning of something, we create a lifelong transform-ation in our experiences. Meaning leads to emotion – emotion leads to action.
By changing the way we look upon how we feel at the start line, we can change our entire experience on race day. For instance, what if we took that feeling of fear and decided that it is just excitement – excitement for the opportunity to get out and do what we love. Push ourselves to be the best that we can be on the day.
We typically feel fear because we care. We care about living up to our potential. We care about making all our efforts pay off. We care what other people think about us, and we care about people loving and respecting us. But fear won’t do us any good – it is a disempowering emotion. Let’s replace this fear with gratitude.
When we feel gratitude, it is impossible to feel fear, anger, helplessness or hatefulness at the same time. Gratitude is by far the most empowering emotion that carries with it a meaning that can truly bring you to performing at the best of your ability. When I think of gratitude in this situation, I look at it this way:
- I have been blessed with two arms, two legs, a strong heart, and the ability, opportunity and desire to be out here partaking in a sport that I love.
- I am doing something that makes me feel alive – that allows me to express my passion for pushing myself to my limits.
- Usually, races are in a beautiful place. Look around you. We are so lucky to be alive, and able to express our physicality in this way.
- The above are three very simple thoughts that can’t help but make you feel grateful.
The other thing that will help you step away from your fear, and step into your superhero costume, is realising that if you give in to the fear, it will not lead you anywhere worth going. If thinking a certain thought will only debilitate you, why would you choose to think that thought? If you know that thinking positively leads to positive performance and feelings, but thinking negatively leads to negative performance and negative feelings, why would you choose anything but thinking positively?
We all have control over our thoughts. Our thoughts create our reality. Be as disciplined with your thinking as you are with your training and you will find your experience of this sport, and of life, is enhanced in the most beautiful ways. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. That is the simplest but most powerful advice I can give you today. Doing this can singlehandedly change your life, your training and your racing in all the best ways.
So, get out there, acknowledge your fears, but then choose to either step away from fear, and into a more empowering feeling such as gratitude, or at least dance with your fear. Bring it along with you, to acknowledge that you care, but don’t let it stop you from stepping up, taking chances and believing that you have so much more inside of you than you can even imagine!
Focus on what you want, and what needs to be done to get from where you are, to where you want to be. By creating an empowering meaning for all the feelings we have, we can change pain to pleasure, and disappointment to absolute ecstasy. Commit to finding a higher level by finding more empowering meaning for what you are feeling at all different times in life. Step up to the performances and experiences you deserve in your life, by replacing your fears of failing, with the excitement for finding out what you are made of. Realise that we never fail, we just learn.
Once you realise that you will either win, or learn, the risk of going all in is totally worth it. You can’t lose. Growing is progress and progress is happiness. Choose to forge forward with gratitude and excitement and make all your dreams come true!