I always knew and preached that you are in charge of your own happiness. Nobody can go to that thing with you? Then go by yourself, instead of sitting home and pouting about it. Want to try something a little scary, but worried about all of the things that could go wrong? Take a deep breath, say Screw it, I’m doing this and go. Is there a dream that you want to chase, but your family and friends are doubting you, and that is making you doubt yourself? Nobody can make you happy but yourself. You have to decide if this thing is worth it, if it will help you reach your aspirations, your goals, your dreams.
This year specifically, I’m really learning that you can shut out those doubts in your head and you can do anything that you set your mind to. A lot of it boils down to self-confidence for me, especially with more physical activities. Traveling solo has really given me a boost in this area each time I take a trip, and after five weeks of traveling this past December and January, I am very aware of how much those weeks changed me, yet again, even more.
Self-confidence is a funny thing, though. I feel like I have lots of it in some areas, and not nearly enough in others. Leaving the country for weeks on end by myself doesn’t bother me or worry me hardly at all, but it took me way longer to learn how to snowboard than it should have, and I can 100% say that self-confidence (and a little bit of fear) was the issue there.
One thing that I have found to help is to actively work on changing my mindset – that’s where the Screw it, I’m doing this mindset comes in. When I was boarding in Canada over New Year’s with a friend, I was still too scared to point my board straight down the mountain, which resulted in a lot of snow plowing down the runs very slowly instead. I didn’t understand what my issue was, it looked so easy when I watched others board. Then I went out to Colorado for a snowboarding trip in late January, and I said Screw it, I really need to suck it up and just give this a better shot. I finally got over myself and those flashes of doubt in my mind, and I just did it.
The same thing happened for me with indoor bouldering this winter, and mountain biking this spring. The only thing holding me back is myself in these situations, and it’s because of the doubt that flashes in my mind milliseconds before I try something new. Whether it is a turn down a steep mountain on a board, a new move ten feet up a bouldering wall or a jump down a mountain biking trail, I just have to walk myself through it in my mind and keep my confidence up. It’s when I don’t actively push the doubts away that I stumble at what I’m doing and end up either bailing or falling.
It’s interesting how this self-confidence and Screw it, I’m doing this mentality has sort of inadvertently become a personal theme for me this year, and it’s exciting too. My self confidence improves dramatically each time I conquer a new feat, whether that be with traveling somewhere new, camping by myself, or one of the more active examples above. I like where I’m going with this whole mindset thing, and I’m excited to keep improving upon it each chance I get.