Your training is held together by glue, and that ‘glue’ is your self belief.
Possess self belief (along with the correct training and resources) and you WILL succeed. End of story. Counterpoints, arguments, and reasons for this statement being incorrect will simply highlight the fears and inadequacies that exist amongst some. Not everyone possesses a belief that they can achieve anything they set out for. Thus your goals, which are personal to you, will be seen as an opportunity (by some) to give unsolicited advice as to why you won’t succeed, or why your chosen course is wrong. These comments often come from those friends, family members, and acquaintances who otherwise have your best intentions at heart. But make no mistake, the sentiments can unravel your dreams with just a few well selected, (and ironically well intentioned), observations.
A few examples that I’ve heard from ‘friends’…
- “So what percentage do you give yourself for succeeding??”. (Answer “100%” and I look arrogant, and answer anything less and I create self doubt).
- “You could die doing what you are doing, and your children will grow up with no father figure”. (They were one of the first to say ‘congrats’ for a ride I did last year).
- “If you’re taking eight hours to ride that circuit your doing something wrong.” (Nothing asked about goals – 640km race, pacing – base miles, or the time of day ridden – entire ride in the dark).
- “You’ll wear yourself out. You are making a mistake by doing so much”. (They never actually asked what my training involved, and ironically I had just come off a six month break from competitive sports).
These comments were all well intended, and I do not believe that any were designed to undermine my goals. Be wary of taking unsolicited advice from anyone. Instead, carefully choose your sources of information, and only believe what works for you. There will always exist articles, research, and experienced views that state you have the incorrect approach to your training - no matter how good you get and what you achieve.
A few tips…
- Unsolicited comments often come from people who have asked very little about what you are doing. They are often interested in giving advice, and not listening about your goals.
- Remember why you started towards your current goal. Keep your goal in mind, and don’t be distracted.
- Find people to trust, and above all else trust yourself.
‘Fear’ is the main reason why people won’t attempt goals. As said by Marianne Williamson, “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.”
Make your goals as big as your imagination…and never forget that moment when it gave you Goosebumps when you dreamed up the greatest sporting day of your life. It will come to you.