Robert Cialdini

Magic 100: Day 11 – quitters never win

Sunday 2nd October…

Just over a month ago I joined a cycling club, the first club that I have actually joined and ridden with. Up until then the majority of my cycling had been an individual pursuit; whether I went or not was up to me (well still is), how far I went and how fast I went were pretty much dependant on how ‘motivated’ I was feeling and what I perceived my energy levels to be.

Sunday RideThe positives of joining the club are that I have a social contract with the other members so I am fair less likely not to ride; what Robert Cialdini would refer to as commitment and consistency – having made a commitment to go, I am far more likely to act in accordance with the commitment. I am regularly doing distances that are probably twice what I would have done on my own. My average speed has increased by 10-15%. I am not out on my own like billy no mates and get to share in conversation.


As was the case here, I am far more likely to stick out the ride!

Now, I am not one for ‘quitting’ but on this ride there was a persistent conversation going on in my head. I was not ‘feeling’ the ride, it was colder than I had expected and at times I was a little off the pace. Had I been out on my own, I reckon there would have been a fair chance of me turning round and heading home. Luckily for me though, I was out with a good bunch of people who coaxed me along and through their subtle encouragement got me through the whole ride.

This, for me, is a prime example of how negative self-talk can get in the way of us being what we want to be, doing what we want to do and having what we want to have. The hindering statements that were going on in my head yesterday could have certainly done that.

The best anti-dote I know to such statements, that I know, is to ask myself helpful questions. So if I’m in a “this won’t work” type statement mode, I ask myself “How can I make this work?”. If it is a “I can’t do it”, then I ask “How can I do it?”.

Statements made are truths for us if was allow them to stay unchallenged. Asking a helpful question turns that around to something that helps us think and can create possibilities and answers to move us forward.

If you notice your inner dialogue turning to unhelpful statements, ask yourself a helpful question and see what happens. Give it a try.