The Power of Belief

Greetings all.
I discovered something today and I want to share it with the rest of this forum.

I consider unicycling a series of challenges. The first challenge may be to sit on the unicycle, the second to ride forward and so on.

Just recently I set myself the challenge of hopping onto a bench.

For many days I tried to jump as high as I could onto my bench but I could not make it. I became more and more frustrated even though I know I am physically able to jump three or four times that height!

I could not reach my goal!

I realised just this morning that whenever I tried to hop onto the bench, I was hopping with reserve. I feared falling and hurting myself and I knew that the higher I hopped, the more danger I put myself in.

I was stopping myself from achieving my goal through fear!

After this revelation I marched down the road and up to the dreaded bench.

Once I understood why I was not achieving my goal I was able to progress. I reasoned with my fear and subdued it.

I truly knew I could make it onto the bench this time and I did! First time! With height to spare!

Why not apply this to every challenge? I’m sure there are many people out there in the same situation I was, perhaps more advanced though :wink: ! Try it!

I now know that if I believe that I can do something, I will do it. It is only in disbelief that we fail.

What do you think?
Maybe this is the biggest pile of bull that you have ever heard. Ever. What is your take? Please share your opinions with the forum, that’s how we can help each other to progress.

PS. When I say that through belief we can do anything, (excuse the Disney cliche), I am not saying that I will walk on walls! Remember, you will only believe that you can do something if you know inside that you can!

AndyC :slight_smile:

i have found the very same with my riding. i need to look at something and say to myself i can do that, and i will be able to. its only when i think to myself fuck this could hurt or i cant do that, that i fail my attempts. its that niggling little voice in the back of your head that split second before you try something that will make you go at it half hearted. That is when you cock up and really hurt yourself! Always think positively :slight_smile:

Thank you Brendy! That is exactly what I am talking about!

Thank god that I’m not the only one thinking along the same lines -I’m not going crazy after all!

The challenge is then -how to self realise your potential? Does just telling yourself that you can do something always work?

Ahh the eternal inner battle sigh

Hahahaha! This is getting heavy!

More comments?
AndyC (The one and only)

Anyone out there?

How do you work yourself up to trying new things?

ummm, fail a lot. ive been riding for a long time, so normally, if its like trick i have to ‘work my self up for’, like a unispin about a yr ago, i just kept jumping spinning and not landing until i finally landed it. im doing the same with 360’s now. also i listen to music sometimes that helps. i guess in general, to work yourself up to a trick, just dont think and do. dig it

‘A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.’


Yeh, music helps me aswell! It doesn’t matter what music, anything.

It seems that generally, it’s hardest to do it first time (like unspins). Once you have done something new, you know that it isn’t that bad after all :slight_smile:

On the Koxx-One website there is a caption by Yoggi explaining his technique (
“…my secret is no fear, my technic is to take off the brain !”

There is a samaurai quote somewhere that is roughly translated to:
“No mind”
It can be applied to any sport really. I use it for Freerunning. Silent meditation for a second just before I do a big jump helps calm me down a lot too. I’ll definately try that with unicycling too.

This thread is turning into me ranting! Someone please comment so I feel less stupid!


Thanks for your help, Andy. I was just recently trying to hop up two pallets but I didn’t have the motivation to do it. A mistake I made was hopping in place and asking my cousin if he thought it was a high enough hop to make it up, and of course he said no. So, I was to scared to actually try.

But, with advice you just gave I should hopefully be motivated to at least try.

14 years old. Within 8-10 years I can see you as a famous motivational speaker. I actually thought that I was listening to an infomercial. I had my credit card ready and was just looking for the 1-800 phone number to place my order for the product that you were selling.

You have discovered a very important fact about succeeding. Great job.

One on one -Thanks! I’m chuffed! I’m so happy that I have realised this so soon! I thought that posting my “revelation” would help people understand as I do.

It as at least helped on person, squeegy so my goal has been achieved :slight_smile:

Squeegy -Whenever I asked my brother if I would be able to do something new, he nearly always said “no” and I usually ended up succeeding anyway! I quickly decided to stop asking him :slight_smile: He only made me hold back! Some people are more entheusiastic and encouraging than others! I am so stoked that I have helped you in any way possible
Go for it!

Mission accomplished,
AndyC II

Seriously, what do people think? Am I just talking a load of bull?

I’m thinking of putting the post into the “Articals and Tutorials” section -this is just a test run to see how people responded.

All comments and opinions wanted,

I don’t think you’re a load of bull at all.

Not only is unicycling a physical thing, but it’s just as much of a mental thing. I think that, generally, it’s easy to forget most of the mental aspect involved as time goes on and things that were once hard are no longer so. For instance, just plain forward riding once posed an incredible challenge to me. Now, to quote Kris Holm, “It’s easier than walking.”

I call what you’re describing to “Zen-out.” One of the skills that has helped me do this more efficiently is still standing. It allows me to clear my mind, and to focus/concentrate on my next objective.

A lot of what I do is tell myself, “I can do this. I can do this.” This works more so for something that I’m trying for the second time. I try to convince myself mentally that I can physically do what I’m trying to do again, because I have done it before.

Early on this past summer I had a mental block about hopping onto stuff that was over the height of my tire. Physically I could hop 30"…but mentally I was worried about hopping onto things quite lower than that! Since then, I’ve gotten over that, and then some!

One of the greatest aspects of unicycling is that is it very calculated for the most part, due to its slow pace. I KNOW when I cannot do/try to do something. Then again, I know also when I can block out my fears (“Zen-out”), and push the limits. I don’t forget/ignore the risks, I just drown everything else out of my mind and vision, and just tunnel in on what I’m doing. Depending on what you’re trying to acheive it could take a lot of mental will and determination to not “psych” yourself out with fear. If I can’t get something after a few tries, or start getting scared, I’ll go try something that I know I can do–because I know that I won’t make it, and’ll probably end up hurting myself more than anything. It gives me something to shoot for during the next ride, for which I’ll be stoked about getting out there and “clearing it” as soon as I can (usually).

There’s more you could say about this whole subject, like learning how to crash/fall without hurting yourself. I’ve gotten myself out of some sticky situations before.

There are also those rare times when you want to kick yourself for screwing up on something that is ridiculously easy to you, and that you’ve done over a “thousand” times with no problems at all. Haha, those are the most frustrating situations for me as a trials rider. They make me want to not only throw my unicycle, but kick myself! So, there’s also an ability to properly focus and manage a positive, determined attitude, simply because those situations can make or break the success of your ride.


TrialsUni- You are absolutely right about about everything you said :slight_smile: Pushing the limits of your capabilities is just as mental as it is physical!
If we do not believe we can achieve, we do not!
It seems to timelessly perfect and simple!

Like you said, it is important to know your physical limits. You always know what you actully “cannot” do. I don’t think these situations should be considered failure, but another challenge!

I’d love to learn more about still standing. Is it similar to what I do; silent meditation?

Self belief is making the rationality control base instinct of self preservation.

Self belief is all about self control.

Thanks for the comments!
Any more opinions?! Keep them coming!

AndyC :slight_smile:

Re: The Power of Belief

“andycookuk” <> wrote in
> Maybe this is the biggest pile of bull that you have ever heard. Ever.
> What is your take? Please share your opinions with the forum, that’s
> how we can help each other to progress.
> PS. When I say that through belief we can do anything, (excuse the
> Disney cliche), I am not saying that I will walk on walls! Remember,
> you will only believe that you can do something if you know inside that
> you can!

In no way is this the proverbial pile of BS. I discovered this, in
another field entirely many years ago. Once you have created the self
confidence that you CAN do something, the chances are much greater that you
Go in with a negative or tentative attitude and you will find it a lot
harder to succeed.


So many people these days “search for the zero inside themselves”. A
proportion fail to find even that.

it worked 4 me

Hey i only read the 1st post so i dont know what everyone else has said, but i can that the same thing happend with me and handrails i knew i could do bigger ones, but that friggen fear was stopping me, and stopped me for ages, untill i faced it and was doin large rails easy from then on, but be fore i tryed faced my fear i knew i could do them, but the fear just held me back, but when u face that fear and land the trick, it’s the best feeling, so go out there and face those fears dudes or you’ll never get good
lol have a good christams everyone

i just think that it probably won’t hurt that much if i fail. i usually work up to stuff by wussing out a few times. especially true for drops and other “larger” moves. i just imagine myself landing it, then go. no hesitation, then even if i miss it, i learned the crash wasn’t so bad, and i can try again. thinking too much always screws stuff up.

i had the same thing while i was trying to achieve many things on the uni which were fuckin hard, but i knew that it was in my range of being able to be done!!

example: trying to hop from bench to bench with a metre in distance, i started on the bench and started hopping exessivly and ended up pyhscing myself out like a bitch!!
the way i found to achieve it and just do it, was to just mount the uni and hop to the edge and just jump without thinking then as soon as i had done it once, i could do it over and over agen !!!:slight_smile:

<<“Wisest is he who knows he knows nothing”
Socrates 500BC >> Good lord! He must have been young when he said that. His trial and execution were in 399 BC, 101 years later.:stuck_out_tongue:

Nevertheless, that was the gist of part of his Defence, and an important insight, as relevant today as it was then.

But back to the motivational speaker…

Believing that you will fail will probably cause you to fail.

Believing that you will succeed will probably increase your chance of success.

That is an important difference in emphasis.

In any sport, positive visualisation is recognised as a way of achieving goals. Indeed, it can even improve your technique.

On the other hand, thinking negatively makes you act without commitment, and builds failure into your plan. Who heard the interview with Audley Harrison before his recent (alleged) fight? It was a classic example. I knew he would lose as soon as I heard it. I don’t know much about boxing, but I do know a bit about psychology - and I investigate fraud for a living.

The problem we have to face as uniclists is balancing positive thoughts and confidence on the one side, against the real risks inherent in a sport than can involve falling awkwardly against sharp obstacles like kerbs and coping stones. The “just go for it” mentality will get you results, but after a certain point it becomes foolhardiness.

Positive thinking is very important, but not a substitute for practice, technique, and a gradual accumulation of confidence.

Which puts me firmly in the “will never be very good” camp for the very reasons so clearly and passionately expressed in the post that started this thread.:o

When I was learning to ride, right at the begining I soon found that I had to believe that I could ride those couple of inches without falling off, before I could do it. But not only that, I had to have no other negative thoughts (such as “i hate this music”). If such a thought krept in, I fell off.

But being a psychologist, and dealing every day with people’s lack of self-belief, negative thoughts and anxieties, I would have to say that it’s WAY easier said than done.


i had the same thing while i was trying to achieve many things on the uni which were VERY, EXTREMELY, SUPRISINGLY, FRIGHTENINGLY, ETC hard, but i knew that it was in my range of being able to be done!!

My edit. I swear like a trooper, but not in a public forum. We don’t get much use of the F word in this forum, which is read by children and adults from many parts of the world. However, it seems to be popping up on this thread. Please stop it.