The Key Is Not To Be Afraid Of Failing

The title of this blog post is taken from a 13 time Ironman winner and four times world champion, Chrissy Wellington.

A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's JourneyI’m currently reading her excellent book A Life Without Limits- a World Champion’s Journey.

It’s been a fitting read, especially as I’m enduring an emotionally and physically challenging time, as I enter my final week of the ride of my life.

Her gems of wisdom and inspiration have played heavily on my mind over the last few days as I’ve pushed through some limits I didn’t know I had.

I cannot believe that close to two and a half months is nearly at an end, and that over 6,000kms have been ridden through five countries by me and my Dragon.

The dragon I fondly refer to is my Jamis Dragon 29, the mountain bike that’s gotten me through some of the toughest days of my life since I set out on March 11th from Nairobi, Kenya.

In the last five days in a row, the Tour d’Afrique itinerary took us through unrelenting off-road terrain including corrugation, sand, rock and dirt.

This culminated in a final day of 176km and 1200m of climbing with the stunning and ever-changing Namibian desert landscape. I knew how far I had come when I got into camp after 7 hours of riding and felt like I could have done another 30km.

All this despite falling off my bike early on (don’t try taking a panorama photo while riding) and Experiencing two moments when I felt tired and physically drained (quadriceps cramping up and saddle sores becoming more painful).

I feel like I’ve gone from complete cycling novice into the Suitcase Entrepreneur that now wants to see the world by bike! I’ve gone on to better understand my bike, my abilities and my mental thought processes.

I’ve found new strength in my muscles, found my cycling cadence, worked on my mental tenacity and even won a few stages as a result. And to think in the first week I wondered what the hell I’d signed up for.

I was not alone in my thinking. When a fellow rider’s sister joined us last week for the final section, on day two she was quoted as saying `I lost the will to live today’.

Have you ever found yourself thinking you’re the only one experiencing your ups and downs? Thinking that you’re doing no good, that you can’t go on, that you’re a failure?

You’d be surprised to find out how many others are thinking exactly like you, it’s a natural part of life and being an entrepreneur. That’s why I love Chrissy’s statement:

“For a start there’s the importance of keeping an open mind. The brain is programmed to protect us, and that can mean imposing limits on what it thinks we can or should do. Constantly push at those limits, because the brain can be way too cautious….

It’s up to each and everyone of us to change `I can’t’ into `I can’.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself and others on this trip, it’s that even when you think you can’t ride another kilometer, you can.

When you think you can’t possibly make it up the final hill, you push through it and conquer.

The long road to success

When you believe your body has no energy left to get you to your final destination, you call on your mind to take control and get you there.

If you think you can’t ride a bike across Africa, even if you never cycled before, you most definitely can – trust me. If I can do it, so can you!

Most of all this ride of my life has shown me how much I adore travelling combined with adventure and a physical activity. It’s shone a new light on the way to really see and experience a country.

While I would have liked more time to interact with the locals and stop in villages that I particularly enjoyed, this daily journey on the bike has got me hooked.

Short of renaming my blog and business the `Cycling Entrepreneur’ you can expect more adventure filled activities in-line with showing you how to grow your business to be do more living – less working.

My aim this year is to start turning you towards saying YES more to your ideal lifestyle and living by your values. To ensure you gain more freedom in your life and live with passion and integrity.

Most importantly it’s to help you push past your fear to create the business and lifestyle you most deserve. My business design coaching  and our WE Mastermind program is a big part of my ambition to ensure you achieve this.

So make sure you check out the free video series happening right now and I’ll leave you with this quote from Chrissy, the next time fear of failure gets the better of you:

“I am motivated above all by that little voice inside that urges me on to fulfill my potential. Everyone has that same voice in them somewhere, but many are too scared to listen to it, too scared to try, too scared of failure. That fear is immobilizing, but it is also our own personal construct and therefore doesn’t exist in reality. Never imagine anything is impossible, and never stop trying out new things.”

 

  • http://drshannonreece.com Dr. Shannon Reece

    Natalie, Every day I am more and more impressed by you — more and more honored to know you — and more and more inspired to go deep and muster what you are challenging us all to bring to business and life. It’s not about getting by, or having some of what you want, but going for the whole enchilada because you lead the charge thinking “Why not!” It’s easy for each of us to get comfy doing what we do, and forget to push ourselves to what we believe are our limits, only to find an entirely new level to grow into. Thank you for sharing your journey! Thank you for being bold and brave! Thank you for encouraging me to take the ride of my life, whatever that might be. :) Finish strong!

  • http://www.platinumlynx.net Chas

    Thank you for sharing that inspirational quote from Chrissy.
    Your blog and journey always encourages me to try harder and to never give up.

  • http://www.30yearoldninja.com Izzy

    First off, I think it is awesome that you are doing some serious biking!

    Second, It is interesting that you bring up the point about focusing on creating an ideal lifestyle that revolves around the business (that is how I interpreted it). I love this idea.

    I have lately started to discover that my blogging is most powerful when I am living an exciting life. If I spend all day working on my blog, developing the business, etc. Then my content comes out lousy. Yet, when I step back, walk away from the computer and go out and just do exciting things the content naturally comes.

  • Natalie

    Thank you for your lovely and heartfelt comments. Shannon you blew me away with your amazing words – thank you thank you. As a sports woman too I know you can relate to pushing yourself.

    Chas thanks for being such an amazing part of my community and always commenting – I appreciate it more than you know.

    Izzy – I actually feel your business should fit into your ideal lifestyle. It should be something you love doing but doesn’t take away from your other passions and pursuits. And I agree being on this trip has given me more fodder for blog posts and renewed energy to inspire and share lessons and advice from my adventures!

  • http://www.windowofinspiration.com Geoff Reese

    Natalie, I love the title of the post and even better content. You grabbed me when you said, “even when you think you can’t ride another kilometer, you can.”

    You always CAN.

    Stay strong and be inspired.

  • Natalie

    Thanks Geoff and so great to have you here in my community. You can always go further and do more than you think possible. It’s pushing through the mental limits most of the time.