I’m Chris Lindsay, the founder of this community and I’ve made it my one mission:
is to empower people. Helping them discover the disciplines to Peak Performance so they can thrive.
I live in Edinburgh, Scotland with my wife, Leanne. I’ve been a competitive athlete from aged 14 when I discovered rowing. Rowing gave me an outlet for my boundless energy, channelling it into structured training. Working as part of a team towards a common goal, increased my self-worth and esteem. I found if I trained hard and listened to my coach, I improved. I got faster and stronger. I was small and skinny then, so I also learnt I needed to train not just harder, but even smarter.
My work ethic may have been honed through rowing, but it was formed when I discovered, aged 8, I had dyslexia. This meant reading, writing and spelling words were more difficult for me. I was blessed with an excellent teacher who showed me strategies to manage the way my brain was wired. Let me say right now, having dyslexia is not a limitation, in many ways I see it as an advantage. Struggling is good. It leads to strength, just like lifting weights strengthens a weaker muscle, in time that same muscle becomes stronger and more resilient through adaptation to training. What I failed to notice at the time were the learning strategies I used to manage my dyslexia equipped me for more than reading, writing and spelling. When I discovered rowing, being small skinny didn’t put me off. I had a coach (teacher) again, who provided structure and a program to make me stronger and faster. But I had an advantage, with my dyslexic brain. I was already equipped with strategies for learning. I had become skilled in finding short-cuts when I neede to remember a word for example. This meant I when I did anything, I would automatically think, how can I make this easier, how can I do this more efficiently. When it came to rowing the ability to move the boat more efficiently than you’re competition is a massive advantage! See, what one may see a limitation, I learned to mind as an advantage.
It is this mindset that I bring with me here. It is my absolute desire to equip you with the tools to get out of survival mode and find relief from overwhelming and stressful. I can’t stop the stressors you will continue to face, but equipped with the right tools and strategies you can handle them.
Stress has both a physical (objective) and a psychological (subjective) component. The subjective part is important. Mariotti, writes, “_not all stimuli that elicit strong neuroendocrine responses are real stressors, but only those that exceed the individual’s ability to change and adapt.”
What stresses out one person, another may see as manageable or even exciting. Your ability to reframe a situation empowers you to face whatever life can throw at you.
When you discover the abilities you already have inside you already you can thrive. Your body can finally restore itself to equilibrium (homoeostasis). Equipped with the right tools, you can thrive.
“You learn something valuable from all of the significant events and people, but you never touch your true potential until you challenge yourself to go beyond imposed limitations.” ― Roy T. Bennett
I don’t recall exactly how old I was at the time, maybe 8 years old. I was at the swimming pool with my family. This pool had a separate diving pool with three diving boards a one, three and five metre. I remember vividly the first time I stepped off the highest board, even climbing the steps to reach the high board was scary. I stepped off the last step onto the diving platform, it felt a long way to the edge! I slowly shuffled to towards the edge of the board and the water started to come into view, opening up below as I inched closer to the edge. My hands were clammy and I had a knot in my stomach. I reached the edge and looked down, then stepped back a little, it looked like a long way to the water below.
Doubt to hold, filling my head with reasons not to jump. I also knew the longer I waited the greater the chance these doubts would talk me out of jumping. I weighed this with the thought of climbing back down the ladder and the feelings of embarrassment and failure.
I shuffled forward again, looked down, and thought if I’m going to jump I need to just do it. I remember thinking, once I’m in the air there’s no going back. I counted down and stepped off the board.
At once I felt rushing air, I grabbed my nose and pointed my toes. I’d done it and survived! I felt amazing!
In an instant, fear had turned to excitement and satisfaction. I was out of the pool and confidently climbing back up the ladder and this time I jumped off the board! I was hooked.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” - Jack Canfield
In a matter of moments, I had gone from feeling scared to confident. But until I chose to step off the edge of the diving board, the only thing stopping me was myself.
As children, our lives are full of firsts. Full of opportunities to face our fears. Learning to ride a bike, learning to swim, your first day at school, first time catching the bus by yourself, jumping off a diving board. Each time you met the challenge you showed courage, proved you were capable and grew more confident.
As we move into adulthood, most of us become comfortable as we have fewer firsts, take fewer risks, stop finding opportunities to step out of our comfort zone.
“We try to design a future where courage is not required anymore.”
- Dan Sullivan (Coach)
Without courage, we stop growing.
Without challenge we stop pushing at the edges of our comfort zones.
When we stop challenging ourselves, over time our comfort zones begin to close in around us as we look for the path of least resistance.
Courage is necessary.
Challenge ourselves takes courage.
This is why I created - Choose Challenge Coaching. I have found challenges in my life have caused me to grow faster and feel more confident as a result.
Each challenge might be small one but every time you felt scared and acted anyway you grew. You felt more able and sure of yourself.
Why is showing courage so scary?
Because just like me standing on the edge of the highest diving board aged 8, looking down. I didn’t know I’d be ok until I stepped off the edge. Until the moment I took that step I had no proof I’d be able to do it. Yes, I watched other kids climb up and jump off the top and they were fine. They even looked like they enjoyed it.
But, until I had the courage to act I felt scared. Only once I stepped off the edge, was fear replaced by exhilaration and confidence.
This is the funny thing about confidence. We think we need to feel confident first before we act. But, the reality is that’s not how confidence works.
You feel scared and do it anyway. As soon as you’ve done it, you’ve proved to yourself you are capable and then you feel more confident as a result.
Now with your new found confidence you’ll climb back up the steps of the diving board only this time you jump even higher. And the cycle continues.
A challenge works in much the same way. No one challenged me to jump off the top diving board but they could have done. If I had accepted the challenge and completed it, I’d have got the same result. I’d have done something that scared me and felt more confident as a result.
Choose Challenge Coaching and #MyMondayChallenge grew out of a challenge my mentor Benjamin Hardy gave me back in October 2018. Ben, challenged me to get some quick wins to start building momentum. To break past any emotional resistance I had to change.
“You’re more likely to act yourself into feeling, than feeling yourself into action”
- Jerome Bruner (American psychologist)
Do something unexpected.
On Monday 15th October 2018, I wrote in my journal. “Doing something unexpected! This morning I woke at 6am and run up Arthur’s Seat before work. 9.5 miles and 1,306 feet vertical gain. It was definitely different, unexpected. Radical, maybe? I definitely stretched my mind beyond my norm. It left me thinking [about] what can I do next to build momentum?”
Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano in overlooking Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I continued running up to Arthur’s Seat every Monday morning before work for the remainder of 2018.
My weekly ritual grew into My Monday Challenge. I discovered challenge was one of my core values. Our core or personal values are things we believe are important in our work and life. When I looked back at my life so far, the events that have shaped me into the person I am today were obstacles that could have defined me, but I chose to use them to grow and challenge me to become stronger, better and more determined. Being diagnosed with Dyslexia aged 8 and my height and skinniness when I discovered rowing at the age of 14. The two events, dyslexia followed by rowing, unrelated maybe but recently I saw how overcoming dyslexia prepared me for rowing, a sport where my height and strength were not to my advantage. Dyslexia
Jim Rohn puts it best. “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced daily.” Are you ready to take your life to the next level? To start moving in a new direction? I would love nothing more that to see you go from stuck to succeeding; from surviving to thriving.
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced daily.” ~ Jim Rohn
I have created a seven (7) day challenge, for you. It introduces one new discipline I practice everyday.
“Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become.” ~ Jim Rohn
Seven days will not change your destination, but if you commit to getting up everyday determined to get from the day and not just through it, you can change the direction of your life in seven short days.
“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~ Jim Rohn
If you have any questions about what you’ve read, or you just want to reach out. Send me a note below, I would love to hear from you.
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