Sometimes we just want to stop, lie down and take a break. We might feel like giving up. We might feel like what we’re doing doesn’t matter. We might feel like the effort is just too much. We might feel like it’s not worth it. But it might be more helpful to reassess, to adjust our goals, shift our attention and keep going or change direction.
I spent the weekend in Mt Beauty with a cycling group. On Saturday we did a long ride and I worked quite hard and on Sunday we were riding up Falls Creek. For those who don’t know, it is about 30km from Mt Beauty to Falls Creek. It’s a beautiful road, and mostly up hill. I love the ride, even with its various challenges. The Australian bush, the smells, the birdsong, the views.
This photo is a good illustration of how I felt after 2/3 of the climb up Falls Creek on the weekend. I started struggling after about 15km of riding up hill. My body wasn’t responding the way I needed it to if I was to get to the top. Like most of us when we struggling with something, I just pushed through, until that moment when I noticed my pace was slowing and it was becoming a lot harder than it usually would be.
I decided that enjoying the descent and extending my ride on some flatter roads through the Kiewa Valley might mean I would be able to ride the following day with less discomfort.
This was a tough decision because I felt that I had been riding well over the first 15km. I now needed to reassess my goals. Riding the final 10km (I stopped at the 20km mark to reassess) was unlikely to be helpful. I decided to notice and let go of my unhelpful thoughts; the thoughts about not being good enough, not being a capable cyclist, not being able to reach the top, not being as good as I thought I was….
I decided to shift my attention to more helpful thoughts, such as I’m looking after my back, I’m not aggravating it further, I’ve been riding strongly to this point, I rode well yesterday, it’s all good training…
With the shift in my mindset I was able to enjoy the descent. I was able to pay attention to the road surface. I attended to the sensations of descending at speed. I paid careful attention to the line I was taking through the corners, and the effort of climbing the little rises. I was able to take pleasure in the sheer joy and freedom of the descent!
When was the last time you had to stop, or retire, or pull out, or give up on something or shift your goals? Were you able to reassess, adjust your goals, to shift your attention in the moment and focus on more helpful thoughts?
At Enhance Life Psychology we are able to help you reassess your goals. We are able to help you learn to shift your attention, and find the helpful thoughts that will be more likely to enable you to perform at your best. If this is something that you might find helpful please phone us or contact us through our website. We look forward to helping you to enhance your life and performance.