Nine years ago, a stay-at-home mom ordered the Mindset Mastery Program (back when it was still called the FTMF). Later that year we met at a conference, and we’ve been friends ever since, even though it’s been a few years since we’ve seen each other in person.
But last week I got a message from her husband Brian.
Let me tell you a little bit about Brian. This is the Brian I met nearly a decade ago:
And this is Brian after he applied some mindset mastery to finding a solution and achieving a pretty incredible health and fitness goal:
As if this isn’t inspiring enough, he continues to conquer his challenges.
What follows is a look inside the mind of someone who persists, even with the SAME insecurities that (at one time or another) plague us all:
“Hi Leslie …As you may know, your husband and I share a love of cycling. Recently I have even taken up cross country mountain biking (MTB). Last night …I met up with some friends for a group MTB ride on a local trail. This trail is known for it’s very steep ascent and very technical downhill. At one point, the rider will come up on some big rocks (we call it simply The Rockface).
“For the most part, I generally walk this section as I feel too uncertain of my own skills to ride it. However, someone who I admire and have given sort of a mentor status to, who is also a friend, is insistent that I am ready to ride it.
“…my timidness is due in large part to my own lack of faith in my skills. …there’s that fear of failure. And in this case, failure can lead to very painful consequences.
“But my friend, who is the owner of a local bike shop and has years of mountain biking experience under his belt, insists that I can do this challenge. And he’s willing to coach me through it.
“So here’s my question: you have written in your books that “when the student is ready, the teacher will show up.” What if the student doesn’t know he’s ready? Does the teacher show up even at that time?
“…A week ago, when we met for this same ride, I became very stressed out about riding that Rockface. The challenge stands before me. It’s almost goading me. I can’t help but wonder why this is such a prominent issue in my life. Is there some kind of lesson God wants me to learn based on this rather [small] and seemingly unimportant issue in my life?”
I can’t say whether or not you should do the Rockface, but yes, the right teacher CAN appear even if the student doesn’t feel ready. But the fact is, you were already ready for THIS teacher, which is why you already have him.
Whether or not a teacher shows up is a different issue than whether or not you’re ready for the Rockface.
You may find that another teacher (maybe not related to biking, but maybe a book or quote or something) may pop up to help you know what to do. That counts, too. So focus on who you want to be a year from now… feel yourself being HIM, live THAT in your mind for a little while, and then the right teacher/ book/ quote/ etc. will show up to help you get from here to there, and that may or may not include the Rockface. Sometimes uncertainty and indecision stems from not being clear on who you WANT to be or where you WANT to end up.
Hope this helps…
“I appreciate your input very much. Thanks for the advice. Incidentally, I ended up riding the Rockface last night. It was only a little harrowing, but ultimately I think it’s a lesson for me. I’ve been talking to my wife about it, and wondering why it’s such a big deal in my life right now. Honestly, why would riding a rock on a bike be …such an important aspect of my life right now?
“I honestly think that the rock is merely a representation of something much deeper and more meaningful in my life.
“I had decided that it was okay for me to not want to ride it. That it was okay for me to not worry about getting over that particular challenge. I became comfortable in the idea that I didn’t have to ride the thing. And so I started not worrying about it.
“Then a couple of things happened:
“First, there was a photo posted from a friend that showed his own daughter actually crashing on the rock. …The actual post didn’t describe the crash, but the fact that his daughter finally conquered her own fear of riding down the rock.
“This got me thinking about it again. And just the idea of riding that rock started filling me with dread. I actually think I may have had a panic attack from it, but I don’t know. So I set the thought of it aside and went back to the comfortable idea that it was okay not to ride it.
“Shortly after that, another friend of mine …challenged me in a somewhat passive/aggressive way. He said he was going to tell the rest of the group that I was going to show off how I could ride the rock face on the night of our next ride. This started me thinking that it was time for me to go for it. But I started panicking again, and bowed out.
“And then the teacher showed up. I admit, when he showed up, I felt like I’d been caught in my underwear watching TV…totally unprepared for his arrival. Last week, after our ride, my friend told me that he knew I had the skills to tackle the rock. He said,
‘It’s like watching your kids. When you know they can do something, but they won’t do it. It’s that kind of frustrating.’
“I decided that if someone who had a stronger skill set in riding than I did had that much confidence in my abilities, maybe it was time I had that confidence, too. That night, I got (figuratively) dressed. I made the commitment to take on the rock. I’m glad I did.
“But I’m still pondering what the lesson here is. Right now, my mind is circling around the concept that God doesn’t want us to get to a point in our eternal progression where we say it’s okay to not move forward on something. And maybe this is just a mundane little challenge in life that won’t have any real impact on my life overall (or it could, who knows?), but maybe there’s something more basic at work here?
“Maybe the lesson is that we should embrace the challenges of our lives, no matter how [small]… or seemingly unimportant they are, because what it’s doing is helping us to grow an even more important skill; that of learning how to overcome fears and move beyond those things which scare us…
“Having that skill will be very necessary in our lives…
“[Anyway], thanks for all of your instructional work that you’ve done to help me understand how we can bring about our own success.”