Building up Speed and Confidence on the Uphill

by | May 18, 2021 | Observations, Peter's Voice

I took my bike out for a ride this weekend. It was my first ride on my road bike this year. Just before heading out, I replaced the battery in the speedometer and took off.

After a little while, I thought about the speedometer and realized I didn’t set it. After it’s been off for a while, it defaults to the factory settings and it was probably reading kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour that I prefer.

I saw I was going 10 miles or kilometers per hour and thought it was a bit slow, but I’m early in the ride and it is my first ride, so that’s okay.

A little while later I looked down and I was going 15. I didn’t feel like I was going faster, but numbers don’t lie. I suddenly felt stronger and with all of the beautiful Colorado countryside to admire, I was happy to be picking up the pace. It was such a gorgeous day. The air was clear and I was feeling great.

About five minutes later, as I was going up a hill, I see that according to the speedometer, I had picked up the pace to 20. That can’t be, I thought.

Then it dawned on me. I was looking at the timer, not the speedometer.

I’d been riding for 20 minutes, not 20 miles or kilometers per hour!

I laughed and laughed as I labored up the hill and watched the timer switch from 20 to 21.

Then I started to think about how this little dial with the instant feedback had such an impact on me. I was judging my performance on the output from a computer. When I thought I was going slow, I didn’t feel as strong. As the time went by, I was probably going the same speed but felt stronger.

This is why having an internal sense of confidence is so amazingly powerful. When we listen to ourselves we get a sense of our truth.

Sometimes, the external feedback we get is misleading. People tend to judge us based on their criteria, not ours. We can sometimes give other people more credence than we give ourselves.

Our internal sense of self and how we see ourselves is what matters. Everything else is noise. And, as my experience with the speedometer/timer indicates, we could be judging ourselves based on an external source that is not even measuring what’s important.

Take a look at your sources of feedback. It may be time to check in with yourself and make sure to realize it’s your opinion that matters most.

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