Don't Get Stuck in the Suck || How to Get Out of Your Head
It was 1:30pm on Saturday. We’d been on the bike for 4 hours and still had a ways to go. I felt OFF.
I attributed that to the weight of the new bags. It was my first time pedaling under heavy load of packed bike bags, 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 partners who would kindly slow down on the climbs.
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?
What’s really underneath all this bull shit? Let’s get right to it:
FEAR OF FAILURE. Not today, not any time soon, really. But fear of failure that when it comes time to perform, to do it “for real”…maybe I will not be good enough because of how I feel in this very moment…this Saturday on the back side of Lake Sylvia in the middle of Nowhere Arkansas.
Can you see how limiting that mind trap really is?
Newsflash!! Cycling is not “for real”. Cycling exists to teach us about the things that are real. Family problems, difficult people, loving unconditionally, suffering through pain, teamwork, failing and coming back stronger again and again and again. Those things are real.
Cycling is training for life.
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 becomes the performance, in the best of ways.
Ok, back to last Saturday — 4 hours in.
Ernie had asked several times, “You ok?” To which I reply, “Yeah, why?”
Uh huh. Way to go, Scotti. Super honest.
He follows up a few minutes later, “Hey, does your seat feel low? It looks really low to me.” Sure enough I looked down and the line marking my seat height had disappeared. We stopped, loosened the bolt, and pulled the seat post out…It had slipped over 2 cm! In an effort to “toughen up”, I had completely gotten so far in my head of echos, that I couldn’t see plain as day what the problem was to begin with.
I LAUGHED!!! Here I was beating myself up and completely slogging through this ride just to finish it, when all along I could have done something to make it better and more enjoyable.
The ride didn’t suck. The way I treated myself and closed off my options … that sucked.
Have you ever felt that way? You know there is a problem…but you’re so deep inside your own messy head that you don’t have clarity on how to stop the recurring pattern? And often the fix is SOOO simple. But you’re blinded by the negative self-talk.
For me, there are three actions I’ve narrowed down that help me get out of my own head, embrace the fact that I’m going to suck some days, and move the F onward.
1) Oddly enough, speaking out loud the words “I suck today,” can be part of becoming the stronger self you want to be. Imagine if instead of thinking about how much I sucked, I had told Ernie two hours earlier that I was hurting in ways I don’t usually experience. He could have helped me address what was contributing to that feeling — and fixed it much sooner. Often times someone else can give you help and clarity if you’re willing to be vulnerable enough to talk about the problem.
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.
There is the “I suck today” mentality that leads to…”but tomorrow I’m going to be awesome.”
Then there’s the “I suck today” that leads to…”and I will continue to suck forever.”
Embrace the sucky days and let it fuel your fire to be awesome tomorrow!
Simple one-liner truths are best for snapping out of things. I love Impact Theory — if you haven’t watched it you should! Here are a few quotes from Tom Bilyeu:
“Focus on what you’re trying to build rather than the army of reasons it’s likely to fail.”
“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.”
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 that I DO THIS TO MYSELF. I chose to go hurt on my bike. For myself. No one is making me do this. I can stop if I want.
But I don’t want to stop…it’s no one else’s fault that I feel the way I feel…so why not make the best of the situation if I’m going to stick in it?
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. Come back and try it again.
2) Change your internal dialogue to work FOWARD and TOWARD your goals.
3) Take responsibility that you’re here because (guess what!) YOU SIGNED UP.
Communication…community…connection…with yourself and others.
Enjoy the ride.