Yesterday I was riding my mountain bike at Annadel State Park in Sonoma Ccounty. Anyone who’s ridden here knows there are many rocks to get around or over. In mountain biking, we talk about taking the best “line.” As I was riding, I realized that often the most traveled line, and often the line we are drawn too, is actually not the best option. I realized this just might be how many of us are living our lives; that is, taking the line most traveled even when it’s not our best option.

One of the tricks to taking the best line on a mountain bike is to keep your head up and read the trail ahead of you. I’d say this is a bit like life. If we stay present to the situation unfolding in front of us, we can make the best choice and take the best line offered at the time.

What does this require? It requires we keep our head up and be truly present. It requires we make a choice for ourselves. It requires we take responsibility for the choice. It requires courage to follow through on what we choose even when others are taking a different path. It takes courage to disregard the very loud inner critic in our head yelling, “What are you crazy, everybody else is doing it differently?”

You aren’t crazy, you deserve the very best, and you are just perfect the way you are. If your inner critic is driving you to follow the beaten path when you know the less traveled path is for you, let’s have a conversation. From my own experience, it’s possible to quiet the inner critic and live a life full of joy, ease, and fun.

Are you willing to step outside of your comfort zone and see what’s possible?