#SHIFT - From Negative Self-Talk to Success

To celebrate National Bike to Work Week May 16 - 20, I will donate 10 cents to The League of American Bicyclists and World Bicycle Relief* for every view, share, and comment this post gets between now and May 20th.


One of my passions — outside of spending time with my family and coaching executive leaders and teams — is developing aspiring cyclists.


I love their child-like excitement when they buy their new bikes and other essential gear. And I find it especially amusing to help them develop their responses when their spouses or partners ask, “How much did you say the bike will cost? Does it come with a motor?!?” 


Relatively speaking, this initial hit to their bank accounts is minor compared to the other challenge cycling forces them to face.


And it has nothing to do with navigating traffic, learning to shave their legs, or chafing.


No, their first challenge will be learning to use those fancy, clipless pedals.


Inevitably, newbies have trouble releasing from their pedals as they come to a stop (video). As a result, they tip over and end up on the asphalt. And of course, it’s usually in front of several cars, pedestrians or someone on periscope. So, in addition to bruised butts, their egos take a beating, as well.


Every seasoned cyclist has a clipless-pedal story; falling happens to the best of us.


After a fall, as you sit on the pavement feeling broken and bullied, you wonder if cycling is the right sport for you. It doesn’t take long for thoughts of quitting to creep in.


After all, Zumba looks fun. 


Being a beginner is frustrating. When you can’t quickly master something as simple as riding a bike, doubt and vulnerability take center stage in your mind. This results in you losing your presence and short-changing the learning process.


A head full of limiting beliefs and vulnerability can cause you to freeze, flee, or fight — none of which are good spaces to be in when you are learning a new skill.


And it goes beyond bicycles. I see this playing out for executives and teams who start new businesses, jobs, strategies, or processes. 


New is stressful, and it can trigger negative self-talk.


But there’s hope. Originals author Adam Grant speaks about the process of starting something new in his latest TED Talk.


Below, I use cycling to illustrate the thought process he discusses, but it can work with anything you do in business:  


1.   I can’t wait to get on the bike. This is going to be awesome.

2.   Wow, these pedals are tricky. This is hard.

3.   This sucks. There must be something wrong. 

4.   Why can’t I master this?!? I suck.


Your “I suck” self-talk moment is your chance to shift. It’s a fork in the road where you decide which path to choose. You can go right and quit or you can go left and pedal forward.  


If you quit, you simply coast back into your comfort zone and slowly come to a halt. However, when you choose to move forward, you get better and quickly forget your initial frustrations.



Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”

~ Charles M. Schulz


When you decide to keep pedaling, climbs begin to seem less steep. And pace-limiting headwinds begin to shift. You discover the road ahead is paved with the possibilities. But to get there, you must ride past your negative self-talk. 


When you choose to pedal through your learning curve, your journey looks like this:


1.   I can’t wait to get on the bike. This is going to be awesome.

2.   Wow, these pedals are tricky. This is hard.

3.   This sucks. There must be something wrong. 

4.   Why can’t I master this?!? I suck. (Time to Shift gears)

5.   I really don’t suck. That’s not the truth. I can learn this.

6.   I got this. This cycling thing is getting better. (What to do-video)

7.   Cycling is awesome. I’m glad I stuck with it. I rock!


Fear of the new is a trickster.


It makes you believe staying still keeps you safe, when in reality it holds you back, especially at work. The status quo feels is comfortable. That is, until it isn’t. When you realize your competition just launched a breakaway and is quickly disappearing from view, comfortable gets stifling. And that’s a lonely feeling. 


Building momentum and pedaling toward success is easier when you have the support of a peloton. Coach Dayne Gingrich and I have created a perfect peloton (a.k.a., Tribe) for you.


We recently launched a new mastermind, 1% MasterMINDSET for business leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, and coaches looking to strengthen their peloton and Get S#%t Done! It’s a selective, judgment free, and confidential group of leaders with one focus: Changing Lives.


Are you ready to level-up?


To join us, click “1% Mastermind” and begin the application process.


Ride safe. Level-Up. Change Lives.  


*minimum donation of $500 and up to $2,000


To learn more about National Bike to Work Week please check out The League of American Bicyclists. To learn more about the Power of Bicycles visit World Bicycle Relief