Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer, all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I’m sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying from that is keeping you from the finals?
Right now it feels a little bit like… shame.
Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn’t anything to regret for the rest of their life. But good luck to you Peter. I’m sure this decision will not haunt you forever.
Quote from Dodgeball where Vince Vaughn’s character talks to Lance Armstrong
Sometimes life can get on top of us and we can start to feel a little as though we do not have the skills we would need to be able to cope with it all. Such a crisis in confidence can be a big problem and can lead to a severe lack of motivation or success.
So how do you go about picking yourself up and making yourself feel better about it all again? One technique is through the use of motivational stories which can be a great way to get your self feeling on top again and remind you that other people have survived worse or been through the same thing or worse. Sure you are at the bottom now, but if lesser people have succeeded against greater odds then surely it is possible for you to?
There are countless places you hear these stories. The most famous one is the story of David and Golliath which probably has to be the first story of the ‘underdog’ succeeding. While this is just a legend, it certainly reminds us that just because we are not necessarily the best at what we do does not mean we can not triumph – and that can fill you with renewed vigour and confidence.
Of course there are also countless real life examples of inspiring stories and people succeeding against impossible (or not so impossible as it turned out) odds. In one example, a battalion of soldiers managed to fight off an overwhelming number of armed opponents without any ammo using their guns as clubs and sticks. The above example too, of Lance Armstrong managing to win the tour de France five times despite having multiple instances of serious cancer shows how determination can see you through difficult times and serious opposition. Oscar Pistorious meanwhile has managed to become an athletic sprinter using only prosthetic attachments in place of his legs.
The story of Rocky Balboa is often called the ‘greatest underdog story of our time’ where a ‘bum’ manages to go the distance with the reigning champion in single combat despite all odds (and in the sequels also beat him). While this story is not true, the writer Sylvester Stallone was actually inspired to write the story when he witnessed a small time boxer manage to do the same with Muhammad Ali – at the time the heavyweight champion of the world. This inspired Stallone not only to write the story of Rocky, but to take the chance in his own life and sell the rights for barely any money and appear in the film himself.
In one fantastic true tale, a man found himself with his arm trapped beneath a rock when rock climbing. Unable to escape he faced starvation, so he instead managed to hack off his own arm with only a piece of cutlery to escape.
Hearing these stories can fill you with a new confidence and remind you that anything is possible thanks to the human spirit. At the same time hearing them can ‘prime’ you, leaving you uplifted and ‘buzzing’ for a short time after which will enable you to be more productive and positive in that time.
So seek out this stories, tell them to those who need confidence, watch films like Rocky and read the biographies of the people you admire. There is a chance some of that spirit might just rub off on you.