The start of the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km international. Small on numbers, big on quality.
We listen all the time for the cues that give us self-belief, whether from parents, friends, partners, managers or coaches. It could be something they say, a tone of voice, or perhaps their body language.
To be surrounded by people who build us up and want us to be happy is one of the greatest gifts in life. To voice ambitious goals out loud can leave us feeling immodest or open to ridicule, but I suppose it all depends on who you tell. The thing about the family and friends I told about my dream of being an international athlete is that, whether they believed I could achieve it or not, they wanted me to believe that I could. And when it looked like it would never happen, no one laughed or tried to undermine me – they respected me for trying.
Some people make us feel good about ourselves and then others simply do not. At the far end of the spectrum are those who actively try to make us feel worse, often because they feel so bad about themselves.
The people we need in our lives are the ones who want us to be happy. They may not always know exactly the right thing to say, but they will always try to help us bring out the best in ourselves. They are prepared to listen, encourage and respect us for trying, whether we succeed or not. And, of course, we need to be that same kind of person for them too.