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Becoming a Confident Person

We go through life as if we're in a theatre, performing for an audience. I am playing a part at the office, I play a part with my friends, I play a part when I'm riding my bike in the forest. We shy away from showing our fun selves while at the office. It would be too corporate for us to behave professionally with our friends. This is natural. It is our programing.

I prided myself to being an open book to my colleagues and to my friends. I try not to hide behind a veil of professionalism or something other. I've been complimented for my authenticity. There's nothing to hide. I didn't build fences between my real self and work self, but I built them around my mountain biking identity. Being laid off shook me and had a tremendous effect on my confidence in in my career. For a short while I lost faith in my ability to make a living as I tied my confidence to my place of work. That lack of confidence spilled to other aspects of my life. I was able to pull myself out of it and take back the reins landing a job fairly quickly. I found that confident role I played and felt on top of the world about my professional abilities. My biking on the other hand has not recovered since my injuries in 2020. I continued to mountain bike timidly, afraid of being hurt at every turn. I was not pushing myself, but I kept practicing. I was riding 3 times a week. I would walk around features that pushed the envelope because my brain would play 50 scenarios of how I could get hurt. I got hurt this summer again. I realized then that I could no longer ride timidly, I could no longer ride with the goal of not getting hurt. I had to ride confidently. I had to give myself the pleasure of riding like I was riding 3 times a week. I pulled myself to make the forest the place of happiness. I started picturing myself riding features. When a feature was bagged, I imagined myself riding harder features. I imagined myself as a confident rider, who enjoyed the berms, the steeps, the rock rolls, the bridges. I told myself "I tell my body what to do. I am in control". It was the same practice I would do before an interview, a call with a customer or as I think about my future career. Fear is a big factor in our lives. Whether you're afraid of dialing a number or you're standing before a big bridge on your bike, that feeling of fear is the same. All I can say is, visualize your successful plunge, go for it and brake at the bottom.

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