I bought my first Harley Davidson in 2004 when I was stationed in Korea. It was delivered to and built in the US and I couldn’t wait to return home to enjoy my new ride. While I was overseas, I took and passed the required motorcycle safety course and exam. When I returned to the states in 2005, I finally had the opportunity to take her out and enjoy the breeze and I did just that! That is until I crashed.
To this day, I don’t recall everything that happened during the crash. I decided to attend another motorcycle safety course, 2 years later. And even after attending that course again, the ride was not as enjoyable, I always found myself fearful of crashing again. I’m sure you can imagine how helpful that mindset was. I rarely rode, and when I did, I was always very tense and nervous.
A year later, I was in Georgia for military training. Coming from the DC area with lots of traffic and cooler temperatures, the south’s warmth and lack of traffic was the perfect location to get reacquainted with my motorcycle. Unfortunately, I didn’t have it with me. For the 4 months, I was there, I kept “seeing” myself riding comfortably, without fear, enjoying the breeze, enjoying the ride. When I returned home, I hopped on that bike and rode like I had been riding for years. I enjoyed the breeze, I enjoyed the ride, I was comfortable.
It wasn’t until years later when I was learning about visualization exercises to incorporate into my coaching practice that I was able to correlate my motorcycle experience. The power of me visualizing my successful stress-free riding adventure is what made it seem so easy for me to get back on and ride.
Can you guess what the two lessons are?
Lesson #1: Your past doesn’t have to equal your present or your future if you don’t want it to As you can see from my example above, the fear that I had, while real, prevented me from enjoying the next moments, present and future. I enjoyed riding, I crashed, I was too scared to enjoy the ride so I stopped. Even with all the personal growth, I had been doing, I hadn’t fully realized how fear was keeping me from doing many things. My reasons for not doing something seemed really logical, I’m sure you can relate. The motorcycle exposed my “reasons” for not stepping out of my comfort zone to do other things in life. When I was first certified as a coach, I sat on that knowledge for a few years, afraid of not knowing enough or being able to help my clients get the results they were looking for (that’s another topic for discussion actually). So I slowly started to take steps toward being comfortable with being uncomfortable. The more I do it, the more impact I have, the more trust I’ve built in my ability to do challenging things. Stepping outside your comfort zone may not have been something you did in the past, but it can be something you do today and tomorrow, and the next day.
Out of curiosity, what came to mind as you read that last sentence? It’s time to take that next step. You’ve got this!
Lesson #2 Your Vision Brought to Life: It worked!! In many of the personal growth books I had read, they suggested visualizing the outcome. To be honest, I forgot about all that concept, because I couldn’t quite grasp or envision it (haha, funny, can’t envision visualizing). My first experience of seeing the power of visualization truly work is one of my favorites, especially since I didn’t realize I was doing it until years later when I correlated the act of visualizing my desired outcome with my comfort level while riding my motorcycle when I got home.
Now, I have a challenge for you…do you accept?
If you have a habit of focusing on your past mistakes to a point that it has prevented you from taking the next step towards a truly desirable outcome, here’s my challenge for you.
- Grab 10 post-it notes big enough to write the following:
I am choosing to look for reasons and ways to achieve _________ goal.
- Post those stickies in locations you frequent throughout the house.
- Any time your eyes meet that sticky, take a few moments to visualize that goal coming to fruition.
- Do this for 30–60 days and share your outcome with me so I can celebrate with you!
Decide every day that you are worth achieving your goal and go for it!