Turning disaster and uncertainty into a silver lining

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I’ve realised I’m not that great with the unknown. It can be scary not knowing what’s around the corner or on the other side of that bank of cloud when you’re high up on a mountain.

When faced with the unknown or uncertainty when we’re out on an adventure, we often instantly jump to the worst-case scenario: imagining we might be stuck on a rock face with a 30m drop below, getting lost in the woods and never finding our way home, or falling off the side of a mountain when visibility drops. Continue reading

5 steps to an epic volcano-climbing adventure (without making my mistakes)

460Just over two years ago I came up with a crafty idea. I thought, why not set myself the ambitious quest to climb 40 volcanoes by the age of 40 – a feat that needed to be achieved in a five-and-a-half-year time frame?

It was a bold, daring plan, borne out of a fascination of lava and plate tectonics… and the itchy-feet desire to make more of my life and challenge myself. I’d just quit my pharmaceutical journalism job of five years to go freelance and I needed a new purpose. I chose adventure. Continue reading

Kit review: How to have a “sardine experience” in a tent

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The label clearly said “two-man tent” but I was dubious about that definition. They were two bloody small men by my calculations. Maybe the manufacturers were basing it on men who had trekked for a hundred days and nights through brutal extremes, living off foraged food and who had lost half their body weight – oh and were really short. Either way, getting two people in that tent was going to be a mission. I scratched my head. And where the hell were the bags supposed to go? Continue reading

How to conquer self-doubt: Remove toxic people from your life

Almost everyone has them – you know, those “friends” who are always quick to find something wrong with an idea or err on the side of negativity; those ones that deflate your happiness like popping a balloon and leave you feeling down and depressed and wrung out after spending even five minutes with them.

These are bad people and we do not need them in our lives. Continue reading

How to conquer self-doubt: Review your progress

Earlier this week I blogged about imposter syndrome (where you believe you’re a fraud and fear being discovered as such) and how it exists to make you doubt yourself and think you’re not worthy of success or achieving your dreams.

Part of what drives the syndrome is the thinking that any success is a result of luck and not hard work, ability or determination. Continue reading

How to conquer self-doubt: Stop making excuses

I have become quite adept at making excuses as to why I can’t do things:

“I can’t go to the gym because I’m too tired.”

“I don’t want to go out after work because it’s too cold or I haven’t got anything nice to wear.”

“I can’t climb that mountain because I’m not fit enough and don’t have the right skills.”

“I can’t go travelling because I have family commitments.”

“I can’t start researching my 40 volcanoes because I’m too busy.”

“I can’t achieve this goal because it’s too expensive.”

“I can’t be successful because I’m not good enough and don’t deserve it.”

From one point of view these might seem like logical reasons but at the end of the day they are all just big, fat, ugly excuses. And excuses, I have learnt, get in the way of doing things, of achieving goals, of making changes to your life. They stop dreams in their tracks, they keep you stuck in a rut, and stuck in a comfort zone.  They make you chose the easy option, the safe option, the boring option.

Excuses are evil and bad. Continue reading

How to not cook porridge

The taste of burnt, blackened oatmeal stuck to my tongue and the roof of my mouth, saliva glands pinching in disgust as I assaulted them with mouthful after mouthful of the gloopy, foul-tasting muck that was supposed to be breakfast. I thought nothing could compare to mum’s burnt spuds (sorry mum), but the acrid taste of charred porridge was, by far, winning the worst-foods-to-overcook competition.

Continue reading