It was only ten days ago I announced my 2023 challenge feeling both excited and nervous. Since then I have done a bundle of interviews about the upcoming fundraiser and started making plans for the week in Northern Ireland.
It was on Friday morning last week, just 30 minutes before delivering a keynote presentation to 200 financial advisors that I was alarmed to see on a BBC Sport tweet that all 2023 Road Races in Northern Ireland had been cancelled due to a massive rise in the cost of insurance. My jaw dropped to the floor as I couldn’t believe it- the North West 200 fundraiser was off so this year’s plans were forced to change. Anyway, there was no time to dwell on what I had just read- I needed to focus on what I was about to do- share my story about dealing with set backs, uncertainty and change, as well as how to be resilient throughout these times.
By the time I had finished my talk I had received an email from the organisers of the North West 200, they told me they are exploring options and not to cross it out my diary yet. I still don’t know if it will go ahead but I do remain hopeful.
Life is full of change and uncertainty for us all.
Our brain responds to change and uncertainty in a negative way, after all it’s main job is to keep us alive and it looks out for anything that may threaten our survival. (that includes anything it sees as slightly suspicious!) Change can trigger a threat response in the brain, which causes a chain of reactions- none of them make us think rationally, creatively or be open-minded and it tends to be an automatic response which makes it even harder. We go into fright or flight response and can not always thinking clearly and logically.
Predictability and certainty feels much safer but none of us will live a life where this is constant.
Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.
I have had much change and uncertainty throughout my journey. Becoming paralysed put a stop to almost everything I did; my career as a Chiropractor, my sport and other hobbies and my relationship fell apart. After my injury, I worked hard to make any recovery I could but despite giving it everything I had, there was always a huge amount of uncertainty. What I didn’t know is I was learning some of the biggest and most valuable lessons through this time.
So as much as I would rather not be wondering what this year has in store, I have learnt great strategies for coping with knock backs and changes.
Focus on what you can control.
Learn to accept uncertainty and change as part of life
Don’t dwell on what might have been, instead look forward to what could be.
Put things into perspective.
Think of others and not just yourself.
Remember that this change could lead you to a new path.
None of us know what the future has in store and we can shy away from change in our personal lives and in our careers. Yet so often it is change that can bring about opportunity if we react to it in the best way possible and that is something we can learn to do.
When my world turned upside down and many chapters in my life came to an abrupt end, it took me a while to realise that this was actually the start of new exciting chapters. I couldn’t change what had happened to me but I did have a choice of which direction I wanted to take my story.
I wanted to move forwards so I had to stop looking backwards.