A life without limits September 3, 2014 – Posted in: Confidence, Personal Development – Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How would you react if I told you we were leaving tomorrow to climb Mount Everest…? Unless you’re an experienced high-altitude climber, I imagine something like the following would run through your mind…

“But, I can’t climb mountains!”
“But, what about my job?”
“But, I don’t have any equipment!”
“I’m scared…”

All of these are, of course, normal and valid responses to a huge and unexpected life challenge. But, how about if I told you there would be 6-weeks of mountaineering training, all paid for in Nepal, before we started climbing and that your boss had given you her blessing to take this time as a sabbatical, even providing you with enough sponsorship to buy all the equipment you’ll need? Now, the practicalities of the challenge seem less daunting, so all you’re left with is, “I’m scared…”

The first three statements above (those beginning with ‘but’) are what we coaches call ‘limiting beliefs’, i.e. the things we believe about a situation that stop us from taking action. These could be, “My husband would fall apart if I left him,” or, “I can’t run a marathon because I’m overweight,’ or, “I’ll never amount to anything.” These beliefs are usually formed on pretty flimsy evidence and, when challenged, usually fall away.

And then all any of us are usually left with is, “I’m scared,” which can be overcome through talking, making a plan and mentally rehearsing possible outcomes. Fear is a normal and natural part of life but it needn’t stop us facing challenges. Those who are the most successful and fulfilled in life will tell you that they’ve accepted that they will be scared, that it’s a part of life, but they don’t let it stop them.

And that’s what I would define as a life without limits…

This blog post first appeared as an article in my Life Column in The Bath Magazine.

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