Slide out and onto the slope

\"AliVery fortunately I have just returned from a week’s skiing in Switzerland, with my eldest daughter Alice, my nephew and my brother-in-law.  I say fortunately for two reasons 🙂       1. We all returned without injury and 2. We were very lucky to be able to have the time, health and finances to go.

Now, I am no great skier, a competent intermediate I would suggest and Ali is not far behind me, so it was with excitement and caution that we took to the slopes on the first day, enjoying great snow, sunshine and good company.  Having been before we went up in our favourite cable car and skied down our favourite runs, from a red (moderate) to a blue (easy) skirting the black (difficult).  A perfect start.

5 days later we all but concluded our trip by taking the same cable car – but this time we skied a tough red, to a tough red to a tricky and steep black.  Ok we had skied for 4 days, but the difference from a technical capability perspective was limited, the biggest difference was confidence.  I had tackled the black earlier in the week and fallen over and Ali wouldn’t go near it previously.  This time however, as we rested on the top of the steep slope gathering our breathe from blasting down the reds, we both calmly and excitedly slid out and down onto the piste, in complete control and enjoying the challenge.  I remember something Alice’s instructor had said – “it is nearly all between your ears, people see a black pole and they begin to panic, if it was a red pole on the side of the slope they would not think twice!”  She was spot on!

Now I may or may not be stating the obvious, but I fundamentally believe that confidence is the key ingredient in any success, be it sporting, business, musical……….. you name it.  As someone famously said “if you think you can you can and if you think you can’t you won’t”!  AP McCoy jumps on a horse absolutely believing he can win every time; Richard Branson always sees success before he considers the barriers and I expect Mary Berry always believes her puff pastry will puff perfectly J.  Now of course all three of those characters have had failures, AP has come a cropper so many times and broken most of the bones in his body, Branson has recently experienced terrible tragedy with his space flight programme and I am certain that Mary has had plenty of ‘soggy bottoms’ in her time.  The barriers to so much of our success lies in our pre-\"cavendish\"programmed human nature, our unerring focus on the dangers, the pitfalls and the potential disasters. Those that think big often achieve big, but not without a big fall or two first and I think here lies the essence of opportunity for all of us.  That trait of human nature has been developed to keep us safe, but safe is not always stimulating, challenging or ultimately successful.  Sometimes you need to be able to back yourself, your team or your partners; you need to slip out over the edge of the slope and trust to the fact that whilst you don’t know what is coming, you will find a way to get down safely, to succeed, to stretch yourself and grow. I guess the question is, how do those that lack the confidence of Cavendish or the belief of Beyonce slide out over the edge?

My experience would suggest that the Law of 3:1 is part of the answer.  For every nagging worry, doubt or concern, find 3 reasons why you will succeed. It sounds simple, but it works and may just be the difference to make the difference.  Having written this blog I came across another great article by James Clear that builds on this very topic.  He writes about the pole-vaulter Bob Mathias and concludes with the maxim “throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow!”

\"blackConfidence takes time to build and is easy to shatter, so make it your mission to recognise every success, build a healthy deposit in the confidence bank and be the best that you want to be! #btbtywtb


5 responses to “Slide out and onto the slope”

  1. The cowardly daredevil avatar
    The cowardly daredevil

    So you lack the courage to throw yourself headlong down that black run, even though what lies at the bottom is that thing that you want to achieve.

    Well here’s what you do. You traverse that daunting slope i.e. you make your way across the slope, taking all the heat out of it. Yes, there’s always that scary moment when you have to face down the slope to make the turn but you can quickly get to a position where you are once again making your way slowly across the mountain side, gradually moving towards your goal. So what if someone gets their quicker, so what if someone tumbles and falls on the way down – as long as you get there who cares whether you looked like Franz Klammer or Eddie the Eagle or even Mary Berry who sat down, slid all the way and got a very soggy bottom in the process!!!!! You achieve what you thought was impossible and boy does that feel amazing!!!!

    So just go for it, throw your heart!

    Great blog Mr F

    1. Love the image of Mary Berry sliding bottom first 🙂

  2. Lee Duckworth avatar
    Lee Duckworth

    A great article highlighting two key components for success:

    1) Confidence

    2) The ability to accept risk


    1. Cheers Lee – you are right to highlight the ability to accept a risk – great build!

  3. WilliamnOw avatar

    wow, awesome article.Much thanks again. Really Great. Shafer

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