And although I don’t have much in common with gymnast Simone Biles, who is considered the “greatest of all time,” I still empathize with her.
She said she retired from gymnastics team competition at the Olympics in part because she was fighting inner “demons”. It was not the ones with horns, but mental voices that tried to undermine her confidence.
Biles said it was horrible that “you are fighting with your own head. You want to do it for yourself, but you are just too worried about what everyone is going to say, think, the internet.
These voices would sometimes attack me when I was a university professor. While I was doing my lecture I saw a lot of attentive faces, but when I noticed someone who looked like they’d rather be at the dentist, I doubted myself wondering, “Why is she frowning?” eyebrows ? Is my class boring? “
The New Testament story of Peter getting out of the boat reminds me of thoughts that can break our confidence.
When Peter shook hands with Jesus, he could do the physically impossible – walk on water – but when Peter started to doubt, he started to sink.
We imagine Peter’s inner voices: “You’re going to drown !!”
Why do we doubt God? We are afraid, we forget what he has done for us in the past, we make ourselves believe that he will not save us.
We listen to the bad voice in our head. A voice urges us to leave the little boat of our fears, while another pushes us back inside.
We get caught up in ever-changing news stories and forget eternal truths. We focus so much on global catastrophes that we overlook the wonders right in front of us.
Simone Biles obviously defeated her mental demons and won a bronze medal in what has been hailed as a remarkable comeback.
She reminds us that we can do wonderful things when we resist negative voices and turn to the light.
I’d love to tell you that I ended up mastering somersaults, but that would be a huge lie.
In truth, I learned to listen to the positive voices of family, friends and teachers, who assured me that I had other talents.
And while other kids were perfecting somersaults on the mat, I was polishing my essay on “What I Did On Summer Vacation.” And you can bet it wasn’t gymnastics.
Lorraine is the author of eight books, available online. His email is email@example.com