Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of training tips provided by Gene Hamilton, founder of Better Ride mountain bike training clinics and camps. Ross Schnell is a former student and raves about the positive changes Gene made to his riding, and that dude’s a ripper. So, without further ado, here’s the first tip!
Often the number thing holding you back isn’t real!Â Are you letting fiction hold you back?!
All the skills coaching, personal training and fitness coaching in the world will not allow us to reach our goals until we overcome this factor.Â The number one factor holding you back from reaching your potential is your mind! Specifically self-limiting beliefs.Â We all have self-limiting beliefs, just some of us in areas that greatly effect achieving our most important goals and some of us are fortunate enough to have them in areas that only effect minor goals.Â I hear some of my students say these self limiting beliefs out loud, “I stink at climbing!” but often we are not even aware of these beliefs, they are in our subconscious.Â The interesting thing is that many times these self-limiting beliefs are completely unfounded!Â That’s right, quite often the thing holding you back has no basis in reality.
Any belief that holds you back is a self-limiting belief.Â When your subconscious says, “I am not good enough” that is a self limiting belief. Sometimes they actually start out positive “I can do that well but I never will be as good as ….” but in the end they set a limit to your achievement.
They are often caused by failing at something (as you may or may not know I believe that, “failure is a nature and necessary part of the learning process” quote from Dan Millman).Â For instance, a former self-limiting belief I had was that I could not do a trackstand.Â One day a friend and I each tried to trackstand and I ended up falling over. For years after this when asked if I could trackstand I would reply, “no, I can not trackstand” and for years I couldn’t trackstand. Was this limitation real?Â Of course not, one day I decided I would try using baby steps (working my way from 1 second trackstands to 20-30 second trackstands) and in less than a hour I was doing 10 second trackstands!
How to do you stop this often subconscious self defeating cycle?
Step one is to identify the belief, “I am a good rider but will never be great” or the most misguided one I heard the other day, “I only weigh 140 so I don’t have the muscle mass to climb like the bigger guys” (this is misguided because in general the lighter you are the better climber you are, most great climbers are short and stick thin).
Once you have identified the belief check to find the source of the belief and see if it is real. Where did the belief come from? Does it make sense? Is there proof that the belief is true? Once you have these questions answered you can create a strategy to rid yourself of the belief.Â If the belief was caused by a past failure tell yourself, the past doesn’t equal the future and practice doing the skill/section of trail that you feel you can’t do correctly.Â If it has no basis in reality (your friend said, “wow you suck at descending 10 years ago”) tell yourself, “that wasÂ ten years ago, I now understand body position and vision better, my bike is way better and I have the skill to descend much better now”.Â Often you will find that once you identify a self limiting belief you laugh, realize that it is preposterous and you move past it.
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