Scrolling through my Twitter feed, I saw a post from cyclist and writer Kathryn Bertine who is racing in Central America right now. She decided to go off on a breakaway before the pelton caught her, but she didn’t regret the bold move. Her Tweet began:
The voices in my head whispered “Go!” So I went.
I sat motionless in my chair, staring at my computer screen. As the calendar turns to March and training becomes more specific, focused and intense, I’ve been searching for my mantra for the year. Finally, I found it.
I know, I know. I often trash-talk the voices in my head. I discuss the gremlins who like to hold court and the negative committee which holds regular meetings. But part of the problem with my gremlins and negative committee is that I give them more weight than the better angels who talk to me. The gremlins shout. The angels whisper. And it’s taken me some time to learn to get still so I can tune into what my better angels have to say. They are unquestionably always right, regardless of actual outcomes from following their wisdom and energy.
This year brings a renewed effort by me to focus on my better angels. That brings to focus to me. And it sounds smack like self-centeredness at times, but truth is the world needs me to be me. Not a watered-down version of me. Not a me bashed by self-criticism and self-judgement. Not a me who is constantly comparing herself to those around her. Maintaining that focus is more challenging that you’d think. But I’m convinced the confidence which comes from believing fully and completely in myself and my plan constitutes my version of Dorothy’s ruby slippers.
Listening to voices which say “Go!” isn’t just about running fast and hard. It’s about trust. Sometimes the plan isn’t to go all out. Sometimes the plan isn’t to race. And the challenge of the workout becomes keeping my head together and myself focused while others are doing something different. My better angels say to go with my plan, to trust in myself, because our power is often cultivated in the moments everyone else glosses over.