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From Fear to Freedom: How an Adventurous Attitude Can Transform Your Life

Updated: Mar 5

Adventure MIndset

What if I told you that open skies, endless trails, or far-off destinations aren't the only places where adventures await?

We often think of adventure as something big and flashy—like climbing mountains or uprooting our lives to move cross-country.

But adventure isn't just about where we go or what we do; it's a mindset—a way of thinking that can transform how we face challenges and embrace opportunities in our everyday lives.

In 2021, I embarked on a solo thru-hike of the 485-mile Colorado Trail, expecting incredible views and physical challenges.

However, what I found was much more surprising: a realization that adventure is an attitude that can be applied to every goal, dream and aspect of life.

Before my trek, I had made significant changes in my life, from moving across the country (twice) to changing careers, yet I found myself holding back in everyday situations. Social interactions were often unbearable, and anxiety typically dictated my choices. However, out on the trail, surrounded by nature and solitude, I felt a sense of confidence and freedom that eluded me in daily life.

I'd sit out backyard games of kickball or corn hole with friends, feigning disinterest, but deep down, feeling totally paralyzed by the possibility of embarrassment.

Social interactions felt like minefields of discomfort and insecurity, prompting me to withdraw or avoid them altogether.

Yet, when I was out on the trail, surrounded by nature and solitude, I felt a sense of confidence and freedom that eluded me in everyday life.

The initial days of my thru-hike were a whirlwind of emotions—fear, doubt, and a sense of insignificance in the face of the trail's enormity. Thirty miles down, four hundred and fifty-five to go. But despite the discomfort, I kept at it, recognizing that the challenge was a vital part of my experience.

On the fourth day of my hike, I found myself wondering why I could face my fears on the trail, but in my off-trail life, anxiety often paralyzed me, leading to missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. I realized that the key difference lay in my mindset. 

On the trail, I viewed each day and mile as opportunities for growth and experience, accepting fear as part of the journey. But in my daily life, I let anxiety dictate my choices, fearing rejection or failure.

While hiking, if I set a goal to cover 20 miles and managed 18, I celebrated my progress. Yet in life, I often hesitated to set goals, fearing failure.

I wasn’t looking at the trail as simply a goal to be achieved or an outcome that would prove my worth in the world. The journey WAS the goal. 

To bridge the gap between the trail and my everyday life, I needed a shift in perspective.

Just like on the trail, I needed to to focus not only on the outcome of my everyday experiences, but also on the journey itself—embracing challenges, growth, and lessons along the way.

That realization changed everything for me.

Following the completion of the trail, I developed 'Wild Life', a coaching program based on my experience on the trail. In the program, I outline steps for adopting an ‘Adventure Mindset' in the pursuit of any goal. Instead of solely focusing on reaching the final destination, I designed exercises to embrace the journey and its potential for growth. Whether it's confronting the fear of embarrassment in a backyard game of kickball, leaning into the uncertainty of building a business or practicing self-compassion in social gatherings, every goal I’ve set for myself has turned into an opportunity to learn, explore and evolve.

By adopting an 'Adventure Mindset', we become infinitely more likely to achieve our goals. We're no longer held back by fear or uncertainty, but instead, we're propelled forward by excitement and curiosity. Every setback becomes a chance to learn and grow, and every challenge becomes an opportunity to test our limits and discover our strengths.

But most importantly, when we approach life with an adventurous spirit, we learn to savor every moment along the way. We find joy in the small victories, gratitude in the obstacles we overcome, and fulfillment in the person we become as a result of our journey.

By embracing an Adventure Mindset, every goal can transform into the journey of a lifetime.

Whether you're setting out on an endeavor like thru-hiking a long-distance trail or prioritizing personal health, keep this in mind: It's not solely about reaching the destination—it's about enjoying the adventure, the path you take, and how you grow along the way.

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