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Mountains and Icebergs

Updated: May 17, 2021

"It was a feeling of being out of my depth. The negative voice in my head had appeared, and for the first, and certainly not the last time, the doubts settled in. I was too inexperienced. I berated myself. I wasn't up to it. Everyone around me appeared to be veteran climbers with years of experience under their belts."

This is an excerpt from Up: My Life's Journey to the Top of Everest by Ben Fogle and Marina Fogle. Read this quote again, but instead of 'climbers' insert the job you do, or the activities you take part in, your hobbies or even relationships. Our doubts and fears can present themselves as very real, even though they are usually void of fact or evidence. I wrote about the inner critic in my last blog post, and it seems from reading this book and many others, we all have a negative voice that calls out to us, usually with doubts masked in some form of reality.

This book is an excellent read and I couldn't put it down. Each page draws you into the visceral nature and power of the highest mountain in the world. The challenges, risks and sacrifices taken by each attempt to scale and reach the top of Everest demonstrate the importance of positive thinking and the power of the mind in facing our fears. From the start, Ben allows the reader to witness his vulnerability, heartache and emotion, tempered with displays of courage and determination throughout this breath-taking journey.

I believe courage is not 'feeling the fear and doing it anyway', rather courage is seeing the value and worth in the fear, the meaning and purpose, and then basing your actions from a place of that worth. In facing our fears, big and small, we grow, change and transform. If we are open to learning, fear is an excellent teacher, and there is a gift in every opportunity we take to step out of our comfort zones.