Fear, Failure and Falling Off Motorbikes

with Sarah Rudder, founder of Ginger Dog Development, and adventurer in life and learning.“One of the things that I keep reminding myself of is that we stick badges on ourselves that say things like ‘frightened of failure’, and when you start to talk to other people about what you’ve done …..what I hear from everybody here is that the badges that you used are really different to the badges that I used to call myself…  I say ‘fear of failure’ and you say ‘courage’ and ‘bravery’ and ‘determination’. I say ‘falling off’ and you say ‘getting back on’. And that’s why we should share these stories because other people see us differently. What we see is not the same

Spring [verb] to move or jump suddenly or rapidly upwards or forwards

Break [verb] to interrupt 

Spring Break Mini Conference #7

Click below for another real tale of human endeavour, and take some time and space to reflect and wonder.

[The full video is available only in our private members club]

Insights & Appreciation

At the end of each mini conference we show our appreciation and share our freshest thinking; here are the highlights: 

“Sarah’s story just reminds me that if you think you can’t do something, that fear might be limiting your beliefs. But actually, if you can push through that, wow, look what she’s what she’s riding now ………so for me, the learning is always give it a go. Give it a go!

“Sarah’s one of my closest friends….and I think what I’ve appreciated most is indefatigability, she just will never quit on some of that stuff, and it’s a facet of her character, of her courage and endurance. And I’m glad she finds a more positive use for it than just being a good friend.”

“What struck me about your story, Sarah, was that when you were put down a little bit by some of the comments that were made at the Driving School, you just went ‘yeah, right, thanks’ and moved on. I’m not sure whether I would have the strength to do that………..your talk was amazing, but even more impressive than you passing your test, is your ability to say, ‘You’re alright thanks… I’m going now’.”

“Thank you so much, Sarah. I’ve got a gazillion things and it’s hard to disseminate. ….. I just loved what you said about target fixation, and if you want the bike to move in the direction you have to look at where you want to get to. And it really struck me in terms of vision and the change that’s happening for people today, so it really spoke to me. Thank you so much.” 

“I think for me, I really loved the way that you told the story……your emotion really came through and you talked about fear being physical, and the way that you put your story across, you could physically feel the emotion that you put into the storytelling. I really loved that.”

“I really appreciated and loved the insight that you gave into the way that people perceive failure and the view that failures always lead to success. You said we tend to justify failure, minimise it or make a joke of it, and I love the honesty of that. I think we do need to think about that a little bit more because we always do talk about our successes in view of the failure that came before it, but actually, the learning in that is the learning that we took from failing, not from the success that came at the end. That’s given me something to think about and I really appreciated that. Thank you.”

“I loved the target fixation, because it seems like a great metaphor for life, and for me recalibrating. The other bit was the journey being the point, and the joy being in the journey. If we could just liberate ourselves from our fixation on destination, how different would our lives be?”

“I was really struck by and appreciated you sharing how you listen to yourself and how you manage your own pace. There’s something really important about it being your pace rather than someone else’s. I felt like that was something really important to celebrate.”

“I’m a motorbike rider and I haven’t ridden my bike in about five or six years, so you’ve inspired me to get out the courage again! I also appreciate your determination to just keep going” 

“I’m an extremely risk averse person…..I can always find a number of reasons for not doing something. And I think what I’ve found is that Sarah’s kind of give me the inspiration to recognise that, you know, I might miss out on quite a lot of things…. it’s just been a bit of a wakeup call to me that actually, maybe I want to stop being a coward and maybe I need to be bringing a few more risks in my life and who knows, you know, I may be like you Sarah, and find something that I really enjoy doing.” 

“I really appreciate your courage in persevering and what I really love is the joy you get from your life.”

Owning failure was something you said which I liked, and the fact that we don’t have to justify things or why it happened, and that is doesn’t have to lead to a success. Sometimes we just have to own the experience and take what we can from it, which I thought was great.””

“I loved it. Thank you Sarah. I love that sense of you don’t get on the bike to go somewhere. Just get on the bike and enjoy it.“ 

“I really did enjoy it and there’s a couple things for me that resonated. I’m somebody who is quite scared of a lot of things, and not everybody always knows that because I push myself into situations which are scary because I want to achieve stuff. So thanks for your honesty. I did feel empathy about how scared you were because I would be in the same situation. I’ve only been on a bike once or twice in my life and I was terrified!”

“I love the story Sarah, it reminded me how much I like to learn and how much I enjoy riding my bike, but now I use as a thing to get from A to B. It reminds me listening to your story about ………. the deep feeling you have when you ride a bike. I think you’ve got such a small amount of rubber on the road, it’s like a 10p piece. You’ve then got 1000 cc engine knocking out however much brake horsepower, and then you’ve got your connection through the leathers onto the metal of the bike, and it is an incredible feeling that puts a big smile on your face. So it reminded me how much I loved it …………………so I’m going to go and get on it later and find an essential journey to do.”

“Your story has so many things in there woven around something that people can understand and can grasp as a concept, you’re learning to do a new skill that is so helpful to really cement some of those things into people’s minds that they somehow lose sight of when they’re at work. And so….. although I was paying attention, it’s made me want to go back into the video and watch it in detail again to just go ‘and there was another one, and there was another thing and another thing’ ….I think it was the storytelling that made that happen for me….it’s such a lovely example to help people understand how they learn and what to look out for. Thank you.” 

“Sarah, thanks so much. I’m a biker without an engine. I sold my beautiful bike about six months ago, because I had to and yeah, I’ve felt really sad about it. But I just made all those connections again, just to talk about that feeling of pace and power and speed and falling off even sometimes, you know, as horrible as it is for a while, you know, that was really great to build. And so thanks for all that stuff. I really, really enjoyed that.”

“The thing that I am going to mention is that I really loved what you were talking about in terms of those famous quotes about failure. Intellectually, we all get that we learn from failure, but when you’re in the moment, and it’s going on, and it’s emotional, and churning, doesn’t feel like a good thing. And I loved just thinking about that distinction.”

A final thought from Sarah …….

“It’s 2 years this week since I got my ‘big bike’ licence and sharing that story at Spring Break was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how far I’ve come in that time. 

From literally being so frightened that I was almost paralysed at times, to the pure joy of heading out to ride now.

It’s a great reminder that many things can be achieved with small steps and that if it doesn’t come easy then maybe it’s worth putting in the hard work.”

Want to get involved?

In August we usually down tools and focus on keeping ourselves fresh, relevant and suitably diverted. We call it Summer School. It’s a time when we connect with interesting and wonderful people and things. 

If you’ve been inspired by Sarah’s story please do leave a comment or get in touch with us as we’d love you to hear from you. 

To find out more about Sarah and her work with Ginger Dog Development, you can visit the website  www.gingerdogdevelopment.com/

At the time of posting this our Spring Break series is taking a pause. The ‘Back to School’ series will be hosted in September 2020, and before that, we will be delving a little more into the stories that have been a part of this series.  

“When you can have conversations that really matter with total strangers over zoom then that’s testament to the incredible Clear Thinking bods. Thank you for allowing me to sneak into these. An invaluable resource.”

The Spring Break Mini Conference Series is a collaboration between The Clear Thinking Partnership and Performance Tree https://www.performancetree.co.uk/



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