This week my daughter and I went on an adventure.
I had wanted to spend some time away with her so that we could chat, make some memories, and find some good out of the recent restrictions. Two years ago, I took her on a bike ride. I got things wrong. I planned a route that was too far, too hard and although I enjoyed it, she hasn’t ridden a bike since. I had to do better.
I talk a lot about mindset. In the past I believed that in order to have a strong mindset, you had to be able to keep going, no matter what. You had to be able to overcome difficulties and just press on. I have come unstuck and done myself mischief by following this belief many times.
This time, I came at things from a much healthier direction. We started with a clear purpose for our trip. The rules were, we wanted to have fun, do something that was a challenge but that wasn’t going to kill us, and we had to both agree on the decisions.
After deciding that the South Downs Way was too long, we opted for the 1066 Country Walk. It’s 31 miles and traces the route that William the Conquerer took from landing in Pevensey via Battle to Rye. We looked at wild camping but instead opted for a hotel at the half-way point.
We happened to choose two of the hottest days of the year to go. Drinking enough and finding shade became our priorities and we rested under trees and took our time to enjoy the route.
Nearing the end of our first day we were tired, and our feet were getting sore. Our pace was slowing and it stopped being as much fun. We decided to call a taxi for the last 3 miles into Battle. In the past I would have seen this as a failure. We hadn’t walked the planned distance! Our aim though was to have fun so it was the right decision for us both. It was lovely having a cold drink in a pub waiting for our lift. Sometimes the easy option is the best one.
While relaxing in a hot bubble bath back at the hotel, I read the guidebook with the route for the following day, and decided that it would be better to finish our route at an earlier point, walking 10 more miles, rather than 15.
My daughter agreed and we arranged our lift from our new end point. We weren’t going to complete the full 1066 way – and here’s the thing – it didn’t matter.
We were doing this trip for ourselves, with our own aim. Success is subjective. We were having fun, it would still be a challenge and we made the right decision for us.
So often we feel pressured into completing challenges, that we lose sight of why we were ever doing them. The outcome becomes the focus, and the joy of the process is lost. The pressure can come from ourselves, based on beliefs about success, failure, performance and being enough. I didn’t want that to be the lesson that I taught my daughter. I wanted to teach her that sometimes in life we choose to do tough things, but that if you listen to your body and know your limits, that there is no shame to be felt from taking an easy option. For putting self-care first; for loving yourself through the process. That sometimes, taking the taxi is the smart move.
We reached our end point on day 2 just after lunchtime. The perfect level of tired but happy, knowing that we had achieved a great deal, learnt about self-care and self-compassion, and about the value of listening to your body rather than your head-strong mind. We had looked after one another, managed our disappointments over closed cafes and realised the pleasure of small luxuries like soaking in a bath, and cold drinks in the sunshine.
Our mindset is important, and having competed at a high level, I think perhaps that too much of my previous training was too masculine. Softening into my feminine strength has enabled me to take myself into much more challenging places, with less harm and better results. I’ve put my two decades of research into a guide that you can find here, so that you can try an alternative way of bringing an optimal mindset to your own adventures.
Forget ‘Go hard or Go Home’; How about ‘Go gently with your steely inner strength, enjoy the scenery and cruise past the broken bodies of the burnout with a smile on your face, knowing that you are enough and you don’t need to prove it to anyone’
2 thoughts on “Sometimes, taking the taxi is the smart move – How a feminine mindset makes success almost inevitable”
Beautifully written reminder of the importance of happiness over reaching targets. Thanks Zoe for sharing this as I am just about to go back to teaching after having a shorter than normal summer holiday due to Covid 19 alterations. I am going to go back to my work place with you on mind. I will do my best not to give my all to work and this resulting in burn out. Looking forward to seeing you my sunny friend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️???
Thank-you Rachel, indeed burn out is very real and likely in teaching but you are your best self when your own energy is protected and you feel happy from the inside out. You are amazing at what you do, keeping your own purpose in mind and keeping a healthy balance means you’ll be able to keep doing your best for your students for as long as you want to! Sending love, Zoe xxx
Comments are closed.