How to develop more self-belief. How can I become more self-confident
I wrote this from the beautiful sunny Island of Guadeloupe, one of the French Caribbean Islands. Look it up and if you ever get the chance go and visit. We chose to go there for a holiday during the festive period of 2015. I love to travel as often as possible and Christmas is a great time to experience different places.
I had a very interesting experience whilst there, which inspired me to write this. One day I went for a run, a ritual of mine that I practice wherever I am, home or away. There are a lot of steep hills on Basseterre the Western Island of Guadeloupe, which for me makes running a great challenge. Also a challenge, are the stray dogs that sometimes roam freely, bark at me and sometimes follow me. I am never quite sure whether they will chase and attack or if they are just lonely and looking for company. Whilst running I took a terrible fall, which left me rather shaken. I have been running long distances including hill running for many years now and I have never had such a harsh fall.
I felt there was a great metaphor in the story and some good learning for me that I thought was also a great share for others. As I mentioned, the hills there are steep and some of the steepest I have ever run. On each occasion I'd been out running and managed to reach the summit of any particular hill challenge, I must admit I had been rather pleased with myself. Panting, breathing heavily, dodging the cars as they raced up and down the roads around me, driving Caribbean style, yes I’d been as pleased as punch each time I reached the goal that had I set for a particular run, which had always been the top of a hill. Running on a flat road has always been easy for me and I can run for miles and miles this way. I had also been running early in the morning to avoid any heat challenges. The excitement of hill running was what was getting me out of bed so early whilst on vacation.
We had moved to a new property halfway through he holiday so I had a new hill to conquer…how exciting. I ran for a few kilometres and then I gradually started the ascent towards Le Saut d’acomat a beautiful waterfall and pool near Pointe Noire. I climbed the hill reached the peak and quietly punched the air in my mind, I had reached my goal. I was now running on the flat, easy right? I have no idea what happened next, I am still unable to really describe it fully as it all happened so quickly. I was running and I think I must have been running quite quickly, spurred on by the elation of reaching my goal. I tripped and fell forward and hit the ground really hard. I had put my hands out to try to lessen the impact of the fall but I fell so heavily, putting my hands out was futile. I picked myself up, I was both shaken and stirred. I even had the audacity to try and keep running a little bit more (away from home), with the injuries I had sustained. I eventually paid heed and started to make my way back home in a sort of run, walk, jog slowly, fashion. I sustained a deep shoulder wound which resembled a newly acquired red tattoo due to the skin being scraped off and a broken ring finger on my right hand.
For me the metaphor and learning from this story is this, once you have achieved your goal keep your eyes and mind open, have a plan for what to do after the goal has been achieved, be mindful, focused and pay attention. Perhaps set a new goal building on from the one that you have just achieved and don’t rest on your laurels too much. Celebrate your achievements by all means but watch out for anything that may trip you up.
I'm older and wiser than I look. After many years in the corporate world I decided to branch out on my own…brave eh? My tenacity, resilience and wonderful sense of fulfilment from what I do keeps me doing.