018: Why Vulnerability & Honesty are Key to Having Power with Sonya Looney

By on August 14, 2018

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It’s perseverance and attitude that propelled Sonya Looney to 25+ mountain bike endurance wins across the world including stage races in more than 20 countries. As a veteran stage racer and former 24-Hour World Champion, Sonya continues to endure all flavors of adventure and challenge in places like the Sahara Desert, Himalayas, jungles of Sri Lanka, South American Andes, and rural mountains of Haiti.  Her mantra “Be Brave. Do Epic Sh!t” prevails across all of her endeavors from motivational speaking, writing for multiple publications, to designing fun lifestyle products for her company, Moxy & Grit.

Sonya is the host of the popular podcast, The Sonya Looney Show where she speaks with experts across the categories of mindset, inspiring stories, and plant-based nutrition to give listeners the tools to live a purposeful and fulfilling life.

Key Ideas in the Interview with Sonya Looney

  • As an engineer at a solar energy company, Sonya Looney was pursuing a very different path from the one she ended up on, until trying mountain biking and getting totally hooked. While she had always been athletic, and had pushed herself in many areas of her life, mountain biking spoke to her in a way nothing had before, and has opened up the door to some amazing experiences taking in the world, its people and all the beauty it all has to offer.
  • During her time as an engineer, she had this desire to travel the world and ride her bike, but didn’t see how that could ever happen. Her journey is how it happened as that is exactly what she does in her life today as a professional mountain biker who has raced in over 25 countries around the world including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Morocco, Haiti and many others.
  • What started as a very physical relationship with her competitive sport evolved into a more entrepreneurial lifestyle focused on how she can tell stories to people about how to live a better life that was inspired by her experiences all over the world.
  • How do we set expectations that push us ahead and yet don’t set us up for disappointment. There’s a line between being too easy to meet, being apathetic and being totally unrealistic. Ultimately, it’s really about what we do when we do or don’t meet those expectations and how we treat ourselves or others as a result (depending who did or didn’t meet those expectations).
  • When things go wrong, we have a choice of what we look at and conclude. If we focus on all the things that go wrong, we lose out on seeing any of what went right, and can end up defining ourselves through that failure.
  • Resilience is a muscle, and the only way to grow a muscle is to test and strain it through exercising it. Don’t shy away from the risk of failure, and don’t quit if you fail. Learn and grow from it to move forward.
  • When someone else is going through this, be mindful of what their needs are to get through it. Often people need validation of what they’re feeling, and that is ok. You don’t have to argue against or dismiss what they’re feeling. The same is true for you. The feelings around failure are valid. And you can move through them after processing them.

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