Deep thought of the day: If it’s good, rock it

Do you ever hear from your internal naysayer? He’ll tell you things are too good, you don’t deserve XYZ, that you won’t win, that you’re destined to lose, that the people you’re with don’t really like you, that they can’t like you, that other people are supposed to be happy, but not you. Oh no, not you. Well, I’ve been hearing a lot from that guy, and I’ve just about had it.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Examples:

On a bike I’m very fit and very skilled, yet my confidence waivers. It’s like, I have permission to enjoy riding at a certain level, and I can help everyone else excel, but I can’t let myself be as great as I can be. Every time I’m in a start gate, or riding with the “cool kids,” I regress back to the 11-year-old fat kid who got sent away and locked in a Catholic military boarding school. My dad said it a hundred times: “What you want and what you get are two different things.” Not only am I somehow unable to be a good as everyone else, but — more importantly — I don’t DESERVE to be as good.

Or say your friends and business associates want to spend time with you. They want to work with you. They want to do great things with you. That voice tells you forget it, it’ll never happen, these guys will figure out what a goofball you are.

Or you meet someone extraordinary. He/she sees something in you that you can’t fully believe. You feel so excited yet so grounded. Cosmic style. You feel yourself falling into a new place. It feels great and powerful and empowering. The naysayer: She’s too beautiful for you. She’s too accomplished. Too dynamic. Too cool. There’s no way she’ll stick with you.

Not cool.

I always thought that asking for what you want and enjoying what you have are selfish and evil. But you know what? I’m starting to realize that living close to our hearts is the way it’s supposed to be. The more love we accept, the more we share, the more love there is. When something great happens and the naysayer kicks in, how very uncool. Are you going to listen to that guy? Are you going to let him sabotage you?

Starting right now this minute, when that voice comes up I’m gonna tell him:

Hey man, I understand your pain. I get where you’re coming from. But we’re not there any more. We are strong and capable and we have support. And everything is going to be fine. [I just lost it.]

For whatever reason, God or The Universe has decided to give us all this awesome stuff. Who are we to second guess that? Things are what they’re supposed to be. They’re great. Let’s accept it. And let’s rock it.

14 replies
  1. John says:

    Good stuff happens to good people! You teach people how to excell at something, others can teach you how to do other stuff. You would be supprized at the number of people that have gone through the same stuff as you. Sometimes we have to loose something to make room for what we are supposed to have! Life is a ride, at the end come skidding sideways all scraped up yelling WOW what a ride!!!!!!! From what I can see you deserve all the good you get!

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    >> Life is a ride, at the end come skidding sideways all scraped up yelling WOW what a ride!!!!!!!

    Yeah! Thanks man.

  3. 9.8m/s/s says:

    Lee, sounds a lot like the 1000 Headed Dragon of Ego from Warrior Philosophy. It’s a tough beast to spot because it comes at you in a million different forms. Heck, I even tattooed it in the middle of my body to remind myself.

    Sounds like you’re well on your way to slaying it everytime it pops up.

    Braappp on.

  4. Keith says:


    Here is what I am operating on this year. If you do what you have always done you will get what you have always gotten. Life is an ever changing experience. So be the change !!


  5. patrik says:

    Ok, now that the computer deleted everything I just typed…..

    I know exactly what you mean Lee…I have been there as the fat kid that got teased all the time (changing schools every few years didnt help)….and am still battling the part about wrenching and work…I want to be a team mechanic, I want to be a great one, and at times I look at it like I am still striving to be that and won’t, and this is still after wrenching for BearNaked/Cdale and now working for Shimano. I am in that position but still feel like there are tons of people that are a lot better than me and I will never get there…. You have the right idea of kicking the nay-saying thoughts to the curb, now it is time for the rest of us to do it. Good work and keep it up man!!!!!!! BRAAAAAP!!!!!


  6. Biscuit says:

    I know exactly what you are talking about. I think everyone deals with it in one form or another. But I don’t think you realize that you are one of the “cool kids”. You’ve become sort of an icon, you wrote the book and spread the stoke.

    I’m sure most of the people who get the opportunity, are secretly psyched to be riding with “the” Lee McCormack, they just try not to show it.

  7. brent says:


    You are an exceptional writer, athlete, teacher and person. You kick ass and all of your friends know it! I know how you feel though, I’ve been there myself. Keep on rocking!



  8. Russ says:

    Lee, it sounds like you’ve found the right attitude to have, the right way to approach your internal naysayer. I’m still working on ignoring mine. I feel like I am perpetually looking around at everyone else and wondering what it is I have to offer in the midst of all these other people. Thanks for sharin’ your great outlook on things!

    By the way, great contribution to Dirt Rag, keep on braaapin!!

  9. Michael LaFlow says:

    I read in a great mountain biking website (or was it an mtb book?) that “fun happens where challenge meets skill,” and that people are often riding (or was it living?) below their actual skill level, and that they need to continually increase those challenges to maintain the ever-elusive Way of Being known as BRAAAP.

  10. scott says:

    “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” Lao-Tzu
    Combine that with KD’s suggestion, fold in all experiences to date (emphasis on more recent ones), Stir in your hunger to improve yourself….. and you’re left in a pretty damn good place.

  11. Jase says:

    “I’m sure most of the people who get the opportunity, are secretly psyched to be riding with “the” Lee McCormack, they just try not to show it.”

    I was only thinking this last night as I was digging my pump track.. If I ever come to the States I’m going to bug you to show me some stuff Lee.. And if you ever come to Aus, drop me an email. 😉

    I know exactly what you’re saying about confidence though Lee.. The little man in my mind always tells me I’m about to stack it just before I hit the lip of a jump.. Really annoys me!

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