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As this post goes live I’ll just be setting off to ride the third stage of this year’s Tour de France, having spent the past 18 months preparing. I’ll have already ridden 250km over the past two days in Brussels and have another 3,200km to cover over the next 21 days.
I’ve always had four objectives for this epic challenge:
• To experience and enjoy riding the entire Tour de France route.
• To test my own personal limits.
• To raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust
• To test, develop and refine all that I know about peak-performance
I’ve learned a lot of lessons already from this challenge but there’s one that’s really caught me off-guard. And it’s been surprising, as it appears to go against some of what I’ve been teaching my clients.
Are you ready? Here it comes…
We can’t have it all.
At least we can’t have it all, all of the time.
That’s been a tough lesson for me to learn because I’m the type of person who likes to have it all… and do it all. If you’re reading this article, then I suspect that you’re similar to me in that respect.
Some of the productivity gurus and performance coaches out there may know some special secret that I’m not aware of.
Or they may just be broadcasting all of their success stories and keeping the challenges and set-backs to themselves.
My goal is to always be totally transparent and share the struggles, not just the highlights. After all, a failure is only a failure if we fail to learn from it.
What I’ve come to realise is that there are periods in life when yes, we can have it all.
But equally, there are other times when life throws so much at us, that we simply have to give ourselves a break. There are times when we can’t have it all.
We need to let ourselves off the highly-driven, super-achiever’s hook and treat ourselves with a little bit of compassion.
There will come a time when we can’t keep every single plate spinning on our own. We need to temporarily take a plate down or ask someone else to keep it spinning on our behalf.
It may mean pressing pause on a particular work project for a few months, easing off on our exercise routine (but never stopping altogether), accepting that our business isn’t going to grow at the desired rate or even enlisting some support to look after our children (which does not make us bad parents by the way).
Fortunately, none of my plates have come crashing down over the past 18 months as I’ve prepared to ride the Tour de France. But if I’m being totally honest, a few started to get very wobbly.
Life has thrown a lot at me over the past year or so, and the past few months especially have been pretty overwhelming at times.
If it weren’t for having a great team around me and being married to an incredibly supportive woman, at least one plate would have hit the deck.
The mistakes I made were trying to keep every plate spinning by myself, failing to talk about the pressure I was experiencing and not allowing others to help me.
As always, my mission is to share my personal experiences and all that I’m learning in order to help senior leaders and their teams to play at their absolute best.
I know this is going to be a powerful lesson for me that will lead to greater success in the future. I hope it proves to be just as valuable for you.
Want to know more?
If you want to chat about how we could work together, click here and book in a call when I’m back from the Tour de France.