One does not spend 3 days with world class adventurers and not leave inspired. The crowd at Lawrence Hackings Overland Adventure Rally, shared a common joie die vivre, the result of pushing past their comfort zone to follow their heart.
From “serial Dakar finisher” Simon Pavey, Rene Cormier who spent 5 1/2 years traveling around the world (see podcast) and Juno winner Clayton Bellamy, to new riders, venturing into new waters – some of them literally. And each one of them, regardless of their calling or experience, has to overcome fear to be successful at what they do.
We all have an ‘adventure gene.’ It’s really our inner self, seeking expression, urging us to follow our heart and try something new. It needn’t be grandiose. The scale can be whatever makes it an adventure to you.
Whether you want to learn to ride a motorcycle, down-hill ski, move around the block, change jobs, leave a long-term relationship, take an exotic holiday, start working after a lengthy hiatus, go back to school, learn to swim…substitute what it is for you, when that “gene” stirs, it’s signaling an opportunity for growth, fun and fulfillment.
Our ego however, becomes threatened, issues alarms and tries to put on the brakes. After all, it’s a change and that is unsettling. It puts forward these thoughts to try and dissuade us (and protect itself).
10 Common Adventure Blockers
- What will others think? Who cares? If you’re following your heart/intuition, it will always be right for you. This is your life and you’re in the driver’s seat. While consulting with appropriate resources and gathering information can help, basing a decision solely on what other people think causes us to vacillate. What happens when that person changes their mind? Do we change ours? People give us well-intentioned advice but remember it comes through their own filters and is based on their personal situation.
- What if I fail? The word ‘failure’ is not in my vocabulary. I don’t always achieve the results I had hoped for but it’s never a failure. If I attempted something because I thought it was the right thing to do, and didn’t make it, there’s a lesson in there for me somewhere. Failing is part of learning. Just watch a child learning to walk and have to get up time after time, until they get it!
- What if I succeed? This can be even scarier than failure for our ego. If we succeed, that means we’re capable of more than we thought we were. We can never go back to who we were and now have a new baseline from which to measure. Change is inevitable and we worry about what we’ll be called to do next!
- Can I manage physically? This is a very real consideration but if there’s something you really want to do, almost any barrier can be overcome. Ask Roxie Malone, who was told as a child she’d never walk, never mind ride a motorcycle.
- What example am I setting? What if now my kids want to do the same thing? Admittedly, I’m no expert in child-rearing, although as the oldest of 6, with both parents working, I feel I raised a brood. The highest calling is to follow your heart. If you’re not, what example are you setting?
- I’m too old, young, big, small, tall, short. You can never start something yesterday. If there is something you want to try, there’s nothing like the present to get started.
- What if I hurt myself? Or someone else? The prudent person doesn’t dive into adventure without first preparing for it. True, the riskier the activity, the more likelihood of injury. But you learn skills, wear protective gear and operate within your limits. When you fall, you get up, learn from your mistakes and get going again.
- How can I afford it? You may have to wait and save for it. If it’s something you really want to do, you’ll find a way.
- What if I don’t like it? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. At least you’ve tried and made an informed choice. Sometimes the lesson is in the trying. It’s not unusual to have students in the motorcycle program who think it’s something they want to do but want to try it first. While most become wildly enthusiastic, there are some who realize it’s not for them and move on to something else.
- What if I really like it? You’ve learned something new about who you are and what you’re capable of. That’s a win all around and potentially life altering. It will open new doors, increase your self-confidence and prompt you to try something else.
The next time you catch one of these thoughts getting in the way of you achieving whatever it is your heart is calling you to do, intercept it and replace it with a strategy that will move you beyond it, towards your goal.