The brain is a bitch. It’s not your friend now and it won’t be your friend tomorrow. It’s an entity all of its own accord. When there’s sunshine there are good thoughts and when there is darkness depression follows. This is the internal struggle you’ll need to overcome in order to master your challenge.
Everybody is different but fortunately for me, I love to play mind games. Not necessarily games against others but instead playing games against myself. Psychological conditioning of the mind in order to toughen it up or catch it off guard. Little tricks here and there to help invite uninvited guests, motivation and inspiration.
The mind is designed to protect you from everything. From relationships to a shit deal on toys at The Warehouse. There’s an infinite number of situations your brain is constantly checking to keep you safe and as far away from danger as possible. Call it instinct, or perhaps your survival mode, I just call it a bitch.
I felt like rubbish training all those hours for my bike ride. it was like standing on the side of a bridge not being able to jump into the river. The million possibilities of thinking what could go wrong and whether I’d still be able to make it out on the other side. It was a conscious battle to fight for the opportunity to succeed.
There comes a point in time when you have to isolate yourself into a place where you are uncomfortable. Into a headspace where you are totally focused and are unswayed from your goals. Where you create a tunnel vision to achieve what you need to achieve. If you really are serious about achieving your impossible goal then you will need to once again draw on the momentum you developed in the first chapter.
Remind yourself again why you are doing this. For me, the reason I was riding my bike was to support young vulnerable people in the state care system who did not have a family who could look after them. To provide them with a voice and for them to be heard in our society. It drove me to get on the bike each day. It was my momentum. You’ll have to go deep at this point. Beyond all the accolades of your amazing idea that you’ve shared with your closest relatives. Because at the end of the day you’ll need to go it alone.
It took me a few months to recognise that what I was trying to accomplish wasn’t really enough to compel me to risk my life every day for seven days. It had to come from somewhere special. In my opinion, this was probably the point in which it no longer became a distant idea for me but instead, it became a very real reality.
I decided to pray about it. Being a Christian I knew I had been searching for a long time to find a source of grounding that I could plant deep roots into that would keep me safe. By me, I’m referring to my “mana” which in some ways means prestige but in my view truly means character.
Praying about my choices to go ahead with my bike ride meant that I was openly and privately reflecting on my actions. It gave me great clarity but it also lifted my spirits into a place of optimism. That somewhere up there I believe there were angels looking out for me pushing me in every stroke of the pedal.
This extra bit of reconnaissance gave me the strength to believe in myself personally. That my spirits were elevated to a space where they couldn’t be corrupted even if my bike fell apart on day one. It was all about believing in the impossible, identifying my weaknesses and making them my strengths. Not for my sake but for the sake of the voices of young care experienced.
But that’s where the strength truly came from. Doing something for somebody else, passing the batton forward gives you a sense of goodwill, hope. I believe that it was through the spirit of doing good and in the momentum of believing in myself that was the true key to gaining the upper hand on my brain.
This was proven in action too. Having not trained for a number of weeks due to a crash that I’d gotten myself. I was led into a spiralling bout of depression and anxiety towards the ride. I did not believe that it was going to work out. That all of my efforts were amounting to no real change imposed on the world and that it was all virtually for nothing.
Some people around me were in the doubting headspace also. Some still are. Another really important thing to realize is that as you begin to elevate yourself to a level that is bursting at the seams with momentum and self-belief. Very quickly others will try to pull you down again. Because it’s fun for them, it’s exciting and it’s something that all people do because it’s just good sport.
But for you, it will be agonising. If you’re anything like me you’re probably extremely stubborn in many ways. When you say something you will be sure that you bloody well do it. At the first sign of a loosening grip on achieving that goal, it can seem like the whole planet is against you. Like everything you’ve ever tried to achieve is suddenly at stake and that shame of not completing your goal begins to overshadow all the happiness in the world…
Just remember why you’re here. Remember the groundedness in your life. Breathe and believe that even if you don’t accomplish your task there is nothing in the world that can make you not you. That while some people may doubt what work you’re capable of, others will be there till the end. There is nothing more powerful than the belief that you can do something truly incredible. But in that space, it’s so important that you breathe.
Stop worrying about what other people have to say and start worrying about what you have to say and create tunnel vision. Not because you’re the only one who will be backing yourself till the end because trust me when I say that those who love you deeply will be there, in the end, no matter what.
But when it comes down to the grind, have tunnel vision because fighting that mental battle, having a deep think over why you’re doing what you’re doing is already a battle hard enough as it is. That it will take more digging than your hands have dug before, that it will take more thinking that your brain has thought before. Because when you’re trying to do something that you’ve never done you’ll have to believe in a way that you’ve never believed before.
Stretch yourself mentally. Believe in something impossible, and make it possible. Fuck those who don’t believe in you or try to make that harder for you. Forget them and just remember that the battle against yourself is all you need to be concerned about. The people who truly love you and believed in you since the moment you took the step to take a reality check, are the people worth keeping. They will fuel your momentum when it becomes dry and depleted, they will fight away the non-believers when you’re taking a well-earned breather. Remember why you’ve come here and never forget that you are loved and that the reason you’re doing this is ultimately not for yourself but for the world.
Next time we’ll talk about raising awareness. Another important step in overcoming your challenges and working swiftly to ensure that you’re building a pathway that inspires others to follow suit!
Thanks for checking in.