Follow these four rules to live a more adventurous life.
Often times as a kid (and even as an adult) we are told that the only thing we have control over is ourselves and our attitudes. I was not always the adventurous type. I grew up in Colorado and Montana but did not participate in the outdoors.
I would often go on scenic drives and small hikes but the anxiety of the unknown dictated my involvement level. When I met my husband, he was heavily into rock climbing and backpacking. I was hesitant, but he quickly helped me change my mindset. Here are four rules I learned, and continue to work on, that made me the adventurous person I am now.
Rule #1 Learn to Let Go
As humans, we tend to wildly speculate of all of the horrible things that could happen in the future, whether it's backpacking or in regular life. We don't know what the future holds, but it's important to let go of these speculations or “what ifs”. Do your best to prepare, and then let go and have fun. I mean, that’s all we can do in this life, with all of the unpredictable things that come hurling at us.
Rule #2 Stay in the Moment
After preparing for a trip, we often find ourselves worrying about the future. Once out the door, enjoy the airport experience before the destination, and enjoy the steep hike up to that gorgeous waterfall. It is all a part of the adventure. If you think something is going to be hard or stressful then it will be. Stay in the moment, and think happy thoughts.
Rule #3 Be Positive
When plans change, things are forgotten, or you’re just plain uncomfortable, think of it as a opportunity to be flexible and optimistic. Keep in mind nothing goes perfectly and to stay positive. Use that self-talk to encourage yourself. For example: I know climbing this hill feels horrible but I can’t wait to see that beautiful view and feel a sense of accomplishment.
At the end of this life, we usually regret the things we didn’t do because they were too hard or out of our comfort zones. Comfort zones will only keep you stagnant. Encourage yourself, be flexible, and step out of your comfort zone. You wont regret all of the amazing experiences you have, even if they involve some bumps in the road.
Rule #4 Be Confident
At this point, you’ve prepared, you’ve practiced, and you’ve stayed positive. Imagine you’re finally rock climbing that multi-pitch route you’ve been envying or that multi-day backpacking trip. Inevitably, you feel a lot of emotions, fear, excitement, anticipation. However, the feeling of confidence knowing you’ve put in the time will let you embrace and encourage your adventurous spirit. The feeling of well-earned confidence is unlike any other.
It’ll take your abilities and your experiences to new heights. Don’t hesitate plunge into a life of adventure. Years ago I would’ve laughed at someone if they told me I was going to climb Wyoming's Devils Tower. But I have, and I plan on doing it again.
I was able to change my mindset to encourage myself rather than discourage myself. Now I can trust and have confidence in my abilities to push fear aside and embrace the unknown. So stop putting off that trip you’ve always wanted to take or that hike you’ve dreamed of accomplishing. It’s all in your head. You can do it, and you will.