Today I want to talk about over-confidence. It’s important always to keep your feet on the ground and be prepared to learn new or different things no matter the circumstances.

Bottom line? I am quickly learning that you will never know everything, no matter how wise or smart you may think you are!

A reminder that you are being too arrogant or getting carried away with a train of thought can come in the form of a simple tap on the shoulder, which can help realign your thoughts and bring you back down to earth.

The best reminders for me are when a friend or a family member takes me aside quietly and reminds me to “think before I act”. Simple and easy you might think, but in the heat of the moment you could think this suggestion is the furthest thing from logical. The trick is to take a step back and reassess. I am certainly not perfect at this and still have plenty to learn. Building blocks though, so we’re going upward.

Getting a broader perspective on things is often easier said than done as there are always a number of working parts that contribute to the bigger machine. Last weekend, Purple Group (the company I work for) hosted a number of guests, clients, friends and some team mates down in the Cape for a weekend of fun in the sun. Of course there was some work tied in, too, as we were hosting clients at a talk. I want to use the preparation for this weekend as an example, to show how important it is to ask questions if you need help and to keep your feet on the ground.

The preparation for this weekend began in November 2015 and had a number of moving parts. From invites, to different venues and a number of suppliers. This all required people management – far more of a challenge that it appeared to be on the surface. Before getting carried away and telling you about all of the lessons I learnt (because yes there were plenty of learning areas), I want to come back to the point about how simple reminders can help keep your feet on the ground and to use a corny phrase “keep your eyes on the prize”.

You’re probably wondering where I get the time to think about these sorts of things and reflect on them. Well as I mentioned in my earlier pieces, cyclists have a lot of time when they are out training. During my time in the Cape I managed to squeeze a in a few rides (it wouldn’t have been fair not to ride) and these provided me with the time to reflect about my many learnings. Riding around Chappies (Chapman’s Peak) on Sunday morning, after the admin for the weekend was done and dusted, I was reminded how important it is to take note of the bigger perspective of things. The view certainly helped my thoughts to gain clarity!

josh cycling roastie

Eating a bit of dirt or getting a roastie on your leg from taking a corner too fast is a bike’s way of telling you not to get over-confident

I am very fortunate that the space I am in at the moment gives me the opportunity to learn. This allows me to build a strong foundation and to interact with incredible people who have years of experience on me. I am certainly learning and growing, however a simple reminder to realign my thoughts/priorities if the best thing from time to time. It allows me to gain that greater perspective and refocus! All the preparation required for the Cape Town weekend would not have been possible without simple, yet highly effective reminders from people with more experience than myself.

So can this be compared to riding a bicycle? Most certainly! I have to bring myself back down to earth when I am approaching a corner too fast, knowing that if I don’t brake hard enough I might end up on the floor. This I learnt the hard way — I have ended up on the floor more than a couple of times. But lesson learnt, I get up and continue riding!

Eating a bit of dirt or getting a roastie on your leg from taking a corner too fast is a bike’s way of telling you not to get over-confident! Fortunately the reminders I receive from my team at work don’t hurt as much. A correction, criticism or comment does not mean that you should stop what you’re doing. Rather change how you’re doing it and make it better.

Remember to put things into perspective, the bigger picture! Give people reminders, it helps to realign, focus and produce better results. Try your best to think about these things because they are often ignored or left at the bottom of your to-do lists… eventually they fall off.

Oh, and most importantly: keep your two wheels down, don’t fall off and get out and ride!

About the author:

At CN&CO everything boils down to relationships. When good people interact with other good people, magic happens. This blog is a great example of the nature of relationships – how everyone knows someone who knows someone who provides free surfing lessons every Saturday or runs a national insurance association or just got back from Bhutan or battles to say Merry Christmas without blushing

And we know Joshua Nuttall, who is part of the marketing team at Purple Group and a champion cyclist. One of Josh’s sponsors is, which is an affiliate company of CN&CO. Josh’s dad Tim, with whom he rides a lot, is the rector of St Stithians, where Carel is the chairman of the governing council. Josh also rides for PinkDrive, which is one of our favourite charities. Josh is also a keen runner and runs for Born2RunAC – which is also the home club of a couple of CN&CO team mates and sponsored by Purple Group – which is where we started in the first place!