3 Steps to Changing Your Perspective

It was 1:30pm on Saturday. We’d been on the bike for 4 hours and still had a ways to go. I felt completely OFF.

I attributed that to the weight of the new bike packing bags. It was my first time pedaling under heavy load, and surely that was why my hip, knee, and shoulders were hurting.

Meanwhile I’m getting slower and more uncomfortable by the mile, and feeling terrible for holding back the pace of my riding companions. We’ve all been there.

But I’m a pain internalizer. When something’s bothering me, I shove it down and bury it deep, try to sweep it under the rug. If I ignore it that means I won’t need to deal with it — right? I also become quiet and stand-offish. Because underneath feeling uncomfortable is a fear that I’m not good enough.

Turns out my seat post had slipped, that was all! But over the course of that ride, I’d convinced myself I just wasn’t tough enough. I was so internalized in my own head that I neglected to think through possibility A, B and C. That pattern of thinking can easily become a mental trap.

I’m constantly reminded cycling is training for life.

And that I need to readjust my the focus of my lens.

It’s funny how sobering that perspective can be, and how once you get your mind wrapped around the fact that this is all just training for life…the pedaling becomes the easy part. Life is the real performance.

For me, there are three actions I’ve narrowed down that help me get out of my own head:

1) It’s ok to suck sometimes, because that means you’ve left it out there. “Embrace the suck,” as Tom Bilyeu of Impact Theory advocates. If you don’t suck and never fail, then your task probably wasn’t hard enough. The challenge is to not get stuck in the suck.

2) Changing the internal dialogue to work FOR you not AGAINST you. You’re the author of the story you tell yourself. Embrace the sucky days, and change the story into something that makes you awesome tomorrow!

“It’s not about who you are today. It’s about who you want to become and the price you are willing to pay to get there.” Again, Tom Bilyeu.

That perspective helps you think long-term and take the microscope off your day to day failings and growth. Change the dialogue to work FORWARD and TOWARD your goal.

3) Nothing is more sobering than the truth: I DO THIS TO MYSELF. I chose to go hurt on my bike, and that’s a privilege. I can stop if I want.

But I don’t want to stop…it’s no one else’s fault that I’m beating myself up mentally…so why not make the best of the situation going on inside my head if I’m doing it to myself?

All of these things come down to perspective. The same circumstance can have a completely different outcomes depending on how you perceive the situation and your attitude towards what you’re experiencing.

So if you didn’t read all this and want the 3 sentence recap:

1) Own that you’re going to suck now and then, but don’t get stuck in the suck.

2) Change your internal dialogue to work FOWARD and TOWARD your goals.

3) Take responsibility that you’re here because you want to be.

Enjoy the ride!!!