Overcoming self-doubt when ice climbing

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“Let’s do this cool gully,” said Richard, discussing the Sunday adventure plans in the Lake District, while sizing up his crampons and ice axes.

We were still in the cosy confines of the hut, nursing hangovers and savouring strong coffee, yet I was absolutely terrified of climbing a wall of ice with just some spikey bits of metal being all that would stop me from falling down the mountainside.

Even before setting eyes on the beast, just the thought of my first ice climb was making my hangover worse. I felt positively bilious.

All the usual doubts rose up and crashed down on me like a tidal wave: I’ve never been ice climbing before, how was I going to cope? I’m not good enough yet so how can I possibly do an ice climb? I don’t have the right kit with me. I don’t want to let the others down. What if I freak out and get stuck? Or worse, what if I fall off the mountain?

To be honest, that last thought wasn’t the one that concerned me most. It was the others – the ones that were like neon signs pointing out that I just wasn’t good enough. Continue reading

An interview for Limitless Pursuits

Last month I was stoked to be approached by Limitless Pursuits, a website that shares the stories of men and women who have beaten the odds to achieve greatness in extreme sports, adventure and travel – all in a bid to inspire and motivate people to push their own limits.

And Limitless Pursuits wanted to interview little, old me. Like, wow! Continue reading

5 things I learnt in 2017

2017 – one blink and it was gone. Or so it seemed.

In reflection, it was a manic year of epic highs (awesome month-long trip home to New Zealand, gaining my British citizenship and starting a new journey of self-discovery through my mind). But it was also a year of epic lows (not one but two volcano failures, putting my volcano plans on hold while sorting out my British citizenship, and adjusting to a new reality of frequent hospital visits to see the boyfriend’s father who had a life-altering stroke).

At the start of 2017, I set myself a huge list of goals (not resolutions). The fact I can’t even remember half of what those were a year on probably says it all. 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

These are the goals (not resolutions) I’m setting myself for 2017

So, the first day of the new year has come and gone. I can’t help but wonder how many people made New Year’s Resolutions and have already broken them?

By all accounts, according to the experts, the better term to use is goals, not resolutions, which can be defined as more specific, and which are therefore easier to keep than a waffly ‘lose weight’ resolution. They also say that focusing on small and easy changes, and avoiding absolutes like ‘giving up smoking cold turkey tomorrow’ will help ensure the resolutions stick. And supposedly the other trick to keeping a New Year’s Resolution is to not have too many or too many complex ones that require multiple behaviour changes.

Hmmm, I may have failed here as my hand-written list came to nearly the length of an A4 page!

And here they are… 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

Do you have imposter syndrome?

So it transpires that I have a condition called imposter syndrome.

No I’m not pretending to be a superhero who wears their underpants on the outside. And I’m definitely not an undercover spy, and I can’t claim to be royalty.

Nope, imposter syndrome, as it turns out, is a condition where the sufferer feels like a fraud and doesn’t believe they deserve their success, and fears they will be “found out” by their peers and bosses. 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