Who you were isn’t real.
It’s just a memory.
A reference point in your growth.
Something to learn from, but not something that defines who you are, or what you’re capable of now.
It’s like a draft for a screenplay of your life. You wrote it, learned from it, but decided it didn’t fit the story you were trying to tell.
The problem is instead of tossing those old scripts, we leave them lying around, where they can keep making calls on our life. We put too much emphasis on those old scripts, on who we used to be. Even though we could have become different people many times over by now, we let our old selves tell us what we’re capable of.
They tell us we’re not hikers.
We’re not adventurous.
That we don’t take risks.
This is where we tend to slip in our adventure goals. We tell ourselves we’re “not that kind of person,” because it was true in the past. Instead of using the past to learn, we let it define our futures for us.
That’s a debilitating way to live, and you’ll never get anywhere until you change it.
It will kill your dreams off one by one if you let it.
Motivational author Louise L. Hay made a good point about letting your past define you.
"We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience."
The good news is you don’t have to keep letting your past dictate your next move. You can flip the script, write something new.
It’s your life after all, isn’t it?
Our beliefs are like engines – they need fuel to keep going. If we stop giving fuel to one belief and start giving it to another, that’s when change happens in your life.
The Mountain Wants Who You Are, Not Who You Were
The world out there doesn’t care who you were 3 years ago. It doesn’t care what happened to you as a child, or how uncomfortable with your weight you’ve always been. It only cares who you are, how you’re showing up today. Your past doesn’t mean a thing when you hit the trail or grab hold of that rock face. Every time you go out there, you get another chance to recreate yourself.
We’d all like to believe that we’re a special case, that our excuses are really real.
“But I really can’t go trekking because of my allergies.”
“Redheads can’t go outside for long because we burn easily.”
“I get winded quickly so it’s better if I just take it easy.”
But there comes a point when you have to ask yourself which one is more important:
- Defending those broken beliefs until you die having achieved nothing
- Reaching your goals and feeling the things you always wanted to
When you’re ready to start, solutions will come out of nowhere and start taking down your half-hearted excuses like Olympic wrestlers, sweaty armpits and all. Once you’ve tapped your willpower, excuses always throw in the towel.
Change How You Talk About Your Goals
It’s hard to just remove beliefs. If you try just kicking one out the door with no replacement, you’ll probably find it creeping back in before long. We need something to fill the void. In the absence of something better, we go back to what’s familiar.
You’re better off replacing your limiting beliefs with new ones.
Switch out, “I’ve never gone rafting before, I can’t do that kind of stuff.”
With this: “I’ve never gone rafting before, so I’m gonna need to ask a lot of questions before we get started.”
Or try changing this one: “Traveling is scary. I’ve never been anywhere, and I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
With this one: “Traveling is scary. I should start off with something small, and work my way up.”
Among Us recently interviewed Lana Jankovic about adventure motivation. If you need a kick in the ass to get you doing something that scares you, she’s a great place to start.
When Action Meets Words
When you start taking action on your new beliefs, that’s when you get real results.
Start small. We really think it’s crucial to take baby steps and not overburden yourself, and a lot of researchers agree. Small steps are the key to taking on any goal.
Start by writing your goal down. That’s step 1. Make it reasonable, nothing too much crazier than the last thing you did. Incremental growth.
If you’re ever lost for how to start, the SMART goal plan is a good place to look.
Think about how you might accomplish the first steps, what you might need to learn first, who you should talk to. Write those down to, and then start crossing them off one by one after doing them.
Taking steps builds momentum, the secret ingredient to success in adventuring or any other part of your life. When you start taking steps, you eliminate the obstacles between you and your goal one by one. You get closer to your dream without even really noticing it. Before long, it’s right in front of you, and you’re way more ready to grab it than you ever thought you would be.
You Can Start Right Now
The past doesn’t equal the future, and every passing minute is another chance to change it all. Start with kicking your tired old beliefs to the curb. Replace them with beliefs that represent who you want to be, and not who you were. Then grab a pen and write down your new goals, and start crossing them off one by one.
When you’re done with that, don’t put the pen down. You’re gonna need it; you’ve got a new script to write.
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