I'm less than three days away from beginning a brand new path in my writing and speaking career--coaching. I'm not sure if it's something I set out to do, necessarily, but it makes sense. And I'm a big believer in giving things a try, including calling myself The BIKE Lady.
I think I've always known I could try new things, but there was a time in my life where I didn't have the courage. I could see that the possibilities were there, but I was afraid to try out new ideas. I had to work really, really hard to convince myself that I was worth it, that someone would be interested in my ideas, that I'd get honest acceptance. I'd learned to allow myself to trust in my abilities, but only up to a point. Not completely. For example, my thoughts might have been: I can write a story for this magazine--it's local--but not that magazine--it's national. Why would a national editor want my work.
My internal dialogue was awful. I may have had the confidence somewhere, but I sure wasn't connected to it, at least, not fully. How many of you have been there, even if only for a moment? It's not a great feeling, not to believe in yourself.
I do now, and I owe that attitude partially to my special brand of BIKE.
It's mental, not metal, I say, because once you have it in your head who you are at your very core, you have the ability to turn your obstacles into opportunities. You have the ability to change your perspective. You know who is charge of you, especially when it's a spiritual thing. You know what your true limits are. And you can transform any of that awfulizing talk that you may do into something so much more promising and positive. That's what BIKE did for me; it's what it can do for you.
Does that sound like a good way to navigate your life?
As some of you know, I already teach my BIKE Lessons or give BIKE keynote presentations in small- and large-group settings. But I've never taught the one-on-ones. I've been coached before. I've been mentored before. And I've been involved in some of the best cognitive therapy there is. I know what's worked for me. My job now, as I begin this new path, will be to find out what might work for you. That's why I'm offering the coaching at this time for free. It's coaching, not counseling.
Note the word might above. I used that word about what "might work for you" on purpose. It's relevant only if you don't intend to do the work. If you intend to do the work, and do it, that word becomes will, as in "free will." If you choose to take control of your life in the way that BIKE allows, you will see benefits beyond anything I would ever promise. What I'm saying is that I can give you the tool. I can teach you how it works. But then my job ends. The rest is up to you. You have to remember, for yourself, that there's a BIKE in your head, and it's there for good reason--to help you handle the challenges of your life in the way that works best for you. I hope that sounds empowering and not like just a lot of work.
Don't get me wrong. It is work. It's the BIKE doing it. BIKE works wonders for me. It has since about 2004. That's when I developed my very first presentation about it. That's when I understood I had this thing, this ability, within me that I hadn't had before. It was 2005 when I had a lightbulb moment and gave the presentation again, this time, with my bike in tow. I literally brought my Trek 4300 into the meeting room and shared my presentation with a group of speakers for critique. It was an amazing experience. I got a standing ovation from professional speakers. I wanted to cry because it meant so much to me to see the impact my story, my work, my passion could have on others. I began to believe I had something that I knew was helpful to me and could actually be helpful to others. It wasn't long after that, with the help of several speaker friends, that I put all the lessons together into one acronym I call BIKE. I refer to it daily. I'm constantly refining the message, getting closer to it, understanding more and more completely how it works. It was my miracle, and it still is.
As you contemplate whether or not this BIKE's for you--and that I can help you apply it in your own life--I'll share a recent experience, with specifics, of how it's helped me. First, know that BIKE keeps me sane. It keeps me focused. It keeps me aware. But it mostly helps me overcome the challenges in my life. Who doesn't want something or some way to help do that?
Here's a prime example:
I needed to make an uncomfortable call to an editor of mine about a copyright violation that had taken place with a story I'd written for his magazine. It could have been a confrontational mess, and who needs that? But I had to make the call, so I referred to my BIKE in order to take care of the matter. Letter by letter, here's how I prepared for this call I really didn't want to make:
B--I assessed what I needed to do to be my best self. I needed to make the call. That I could not avoid. I found out about the violation; I had to address it. Doing otherwise could imply I accepted the violation, but I did not. But neither did I want to attack the guy, because I wanted to maintain the business relationship. I deserved to know what happened and how I was going to be compensated and to be assured this wouldn't happen again. I was taking care of myself.
I--I determined I had the inner strength to make the call. In fact, I knew I had the courage to face the guy and ask my questions. I'd overcome far greater injustices in my life than this. So that helped me turn this challenge into a miner inconvenience (See? There's that perspective thing.). But I took the amount of time I needed to digest the information, consider it, and prepare a list of my needs. That takes courage, and I had it. Again, I was taking care of myself.
K--I trusted in my killer instinct and my knowledge of the contract I had signed that I was right to make the call, that the violation had occured, and that I had a right to challenge it. I saw and was aware of the need to protect my rights. So when the editor gave me his excuses, I was prepared and could state clearly and matter-of-factly what I knew to be true and stick to what needed to be done.
E--I armed myself with knowledge. I read the contract again. I talked to other writers. I talked to a previous editor at this magazine who was familiar with the contract and the rights of the writer. The contract hadn't changed. I learned whatever I could before I made the call. I had my list in front of me of what my needs were, and I made the call. I used my expressive voice to make sure my needs surrounding this issue were met and that the violation would not occur again. If it does happen again, I know what I need to do to act on that as well.
When I hung up, I felt like a champion of my own rights. It's a good feeling.
Before BIKE, I wouldn't have made that call. I would have felt too timid. I wouldn't have believed in the voice I have to speak up for myself. I wouldn't have had the courage. I may have understood the violation to be wrong, but I might not have allowed myself to trust my feelings. I would not have likely taken care of myself nor even known what my needs were regarding the matter.
That's not the me I am today. The me I am today is stronger, smarter and saner.
BIKE helps me see how I can right a wrong situation. It helps me take care of me. And that's the best I can do. I understand that. I don't expect more or less of me than possible. But I do embrace challeges. BIKE has staying power. Once it's there, it's always there. You can ignore it, but it won't go away. It'll nag at you. It'll tease you. It'll work with your conscience and your gut so that even if you don't take care of your needs today, you're more likely to do so tomorrow. BIKE won't let up. If you're wrong, it'll convict you. If you're mistreated, it'll give you the way out. If you're depressed, it'll help you do what needs to be done to heal that pain.
So teaching others how to apply BIKE is just one more way I am diversifying my talents, knowledge and passion to help others. It's also another opportunity for me to learn.
I gain a lot by teaching my BIKE Lessons to others. Sometimes, I am reminded of areas in which I've faltered or could use more work. Ultimately, BIKE leads you on a constant path of growth. It's a gift, and I'm so happy to have it to give.
All my best,