I learned some fabulous things over my holidays and I want to share them with you.
On the last day of my vacation, before I was going to fly home, I climbed a mountain. It was 2300 meters high and it was a ‘scramble’ for about 90% of it. If you’re not familiar with scramble climbing, it means to climb or move quickly using one’s hands and feet, as down a rough incline. I was on loose shale and rock on the way up and for the way down I was sliding down on my feet and holding on to trees and shrubs because it was so steep.
I tell you this not to brag (OK, just a little 😉 ) but to share with you what I learned that day not only about climbing a mountain but in my everyday life.
- You can’t follow in someone else’s foot holds because they are not going to be stable for you.
- You need to be staggered from the person in front of you so the falling rocks don’t hit you on the way down.
- It’s scary doing something different but if you keep your eye on what’s in front of you, it’s doable. (The big picture seemed impossible.) Worry about what you can control right now.
- If someone else can do it, you know it can be done. You just need to believe in yourself and you can do it too.
- You are on your own journey … it will look different to others around you.
- Persistence is key… one step after another will get you to your destination.
- You can’t skip a step. There are no shortcuts. Each step is a lesson and you need to complete each and every one.
- Most importantly, IT’S WORTH IT!
Why a mountain?
I have never been a thrill seeker and that’s not why I did it. I climbed the mountain because I needed to know I could. I needed to know that I could do whatever I put my mind to. Yet, in all honesty, probably one of the biggest reasons – I didn’t want to be left out at the bottom wondering if I could have made it to the top if only I was brave enough to try.
I knew I would never get another chance like that and I had to make a choice – join or miss out.
It is so easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same things day in and day out. Please, don’t get me wrong because I like to help people create routines and they are definitely a good thing in people’s lives but when routines prevent you from stepping out and reaching your potential then sometimes you need to re-evaluate those routines and ask yourself if they still fit. Every now and then I take a look around, take stock and re-evaluate the fit.
Fear is only an emotion
At one time, I was so scared to do things I had never done. I let opportunities pass me by because I was so scared of the unknown. As I was learning more about coaching, I heard something that changed my life: Fear is only an emotion and it cannot hurt you. That was an AHA moment for me. Fear is only an emotion and it cannot hurt you. Such a simple yet powerful statement.
On this vacation, I climbed different terrains. The first part was nothing but small rocks and shale piled up. Going up the shale rock was a challenge. When I stopped and turned around to see how far I had come, I was shocked. The other thought was that I couldn’t go back the way I came. I told myself ‘other’s have done this’, so if that is true then I could do it too.
The next area still had the loose rock and shale but there was solid rock too. At least when you put your foot down you had some piece of mind that it wasn’t going anywhere even if the foothold was a mere couple of inches. I was almost there. The climb became steeper with less loose rock and more space to hold on. As I reached the top and was able to stand up and walk, there was still the narrow path to reach the top – the destination – the Tower of Babel and the spectacular views.
I had this great sense of relief, pride, and accomplishment mixed with the fear of not knowing how I was going to get down. I almost cried at the thought of going down the same way, only backwards. The other option was more ‘unknown’. It was almost a shear drop down on the backside of the mountain with lots of pine trees and shrubs where you could only see 20-30 feet at a time. At least there would be something to break my fall! The ‘unknown’ path was the one we chose to take.
I think it’s funny. I would prefer the unknown path, rather than re-travel a more known path that should have felt more comfortable.
Is it time to get out of your comfort zone?
Playing it safe has its place and routines are comfortable. But there are times when life gets boring or dull and isn’t giving you what you want. You don’t have to go out and climb a mountain but if you aren’t completely happy with how your life is or how it’s going then ask yourself: What can I do to step out of my comfort zone?
Is there even a little something you can do differently? It will take some forethought and a little courage but doing little things differently each and every day become easier and easier and will begin to fit into place.
Ask yourself these questions:
What do I want?
How can I get it?
What do I need to do?
How can I get out of my routine? (Even just a little.)
What can I do to make it all fit …
Let me know how I can support you. I’m here when you’re ready to connect.
~ Lisa Austin