I’m a fairly confident skier. I’m definitely no expert but I can get down any run in a resort (although with style is another thing entirely!). On a clear blue sky day with clear visibility and lovely groomed runs I’m pretty darn fast. That is where I feel the most at home – whipping down groomed runs with the air hitting my face.
But this year I’ve been trying new things. Getting more confident in skiing in powder. Learning to ski through trees and other different, varied terrain. I’ve started to head out of resort boundaries and I’ve bought some touring skis which allow me to “skin” up hills. I am still very much learning but I have started loving the places you can get to. The views. The silence. The pretty snow. The idea of going further into backcountry terrain interests me although going up is still a lot easier than coming down at the moment.
So a few weeks ago my partner and I were talking about doing a day trip into the backcountry with some people who we don’t know that well. After a bit of discussion about where we might head I said “I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it”, to which my darling partner replied “No you’re not. You’re afraid you will look bad.”
Hello reality check!
Yep, my partner just pulled out the bullshit card.
And that is totally true. Of course I will be able to complete it. It may take some time and I might fall over on the way, but I can get down a slope.
What I am worried about is failing in front of others. I’m afraid about what other people might think of me (geez look at her – all gear and no idea). I’m afraid of not being “good enough”. I’m concerned about showing my fear.
How often in our lives do we not do something because we are worried about how it will look? How many times do we stop ourselves because we’re afraid of what others will say? What do we not try because we might show weakness?
When do you need to call bullshit on your thoughts?
When are you telling yourself stories that aren’t actually true? When are you believing the stories you tell yourself when they are only half truths? When are you letting your fear get in the way of doing more in your life? When do you need to pull the bullshit card on yourself?
I know that if I was out with someone just learning I’d be cheering them on, giving them guidance and hints and tips and celebrating their successes. Yet when it comes to me I think I’ll be judged. This is just crazy! This is just bullshit!
So I am getting over myself and trying to experience more challenges. This backcountry day never came about due to a variety of circumstances including injury, weather and avalanche danger but I am still exploring ways to challenge myself – and challenge my thinking!
I’m learning to stop worrying about what others will think. To keep trying and keep doing. Testing and learning. Being open to the learning curve and all that comes with it. Learning to fail and know it will teach me so much more in the process than never trying at all.
I’m also learning to trust that the people I’m worried about failing in front of are more likely to be my biggest cheerleaders rather than my biggest critics.
Do you want to come and learn to fail with me?
Do you want to start calling bullshit when you get in your own way?
Let’s go out and live this life. Let’s make it happen!