Thursday, 17 December 2009

Don't Look Down

Have you ever climbed a high mountain?

I can’t say that I have although I would suggest that I’ve climbed quite a few proverbial mountainous ranges in my time, whether that be the tough challenge of a real fight on the cold honest pavement, or battles with some internally dark times and a few other things in between.

I can’t speak from experience when I say how tough it is to climb a real mountain but I can equate, from my own experiences, some of the analogies that I have heard fellow climbers talk of.

Have you ever been up high and to avoid the fear that the dangerous height triggers told yourself “not to look down”?

“You’ll be fine”, encouraging friends will say, “just don’t look down”.

And they would probably be right.

The problem, however, is that, when scaling your own Everest, whatever that may be, only looking up can be quite a daunting thing. When dragging yourself up each leg-aching rung of the life ladder that will lead you to your ultimate goal, the top can appear so far above you that you never seem to get any closer.

The soul destroying feeling that you are working at your maximum, tirelessly towards your dreams and never feeling as if you are making any headway can be hard to continually handle.

It can be very frustrating, and it can pull you back down like a dead weight in your rucksack, triggering all the negative emotions that make so many people stop in their tracks, turn around and head back down for base camp again.

On these occasions, this is where we need to ignore the advice "Not to look down" and take a good long hearty look below us.

Take stock of just how high up you already are.
See how far you’ve already come, how many hurdles you’ve already climbed over and just how far along the path you’ve actually trodden.


In a previous article, “It’s all about the journey”, I spoke at length about how we need to enjoy the journey and not become fixated with the end destination, and this week’s article is no different.

We can become so focused on the end target, the summit of our ambitions, that we allow ourselves to become disheartened if it seems to be taking us far longer than we had planned or hoped.

Trust me, if you were to ask those closest to me they will tell you I am the absolute worst at this, but I am working on it and that is why I am writing this article.
We need to stop every now and then and take a look back down. It can often be surprising just how much we’ve already achieved.


Things that were huge accomplishments at the time, but somehow, their difficulty and rewarding achievement has faded as time has moved on.
We’re on the run up to Christmas as I write this article and it’s always a time when we look back over the year and have a review of the things we’ve done, the places we’ve been, the good and, hopefully the not too many bad times we’ve come through.

So there’s no better time than now time to review your progress on your own ascent. Treat it as a milestone to stop and measure your successes and achievements, you may be pleasantly surprised at just how far you have come.And if your end goal still feels so far away that it seems un-reachable, then why not take a rest and enjoy where you are right now.

Unless you’re comfortable and able to cope with and enjoy the view from the height you’ve reached this far, there’s no point in racing on any higher anyway.If you can’t appreciate the level you’ve reached, why should you be given any more.

The trick here however, is not to get too comfortable with this period of respite and reflection.

If we stop for too long, admiring our handy work thus far, we may get stuck and find so much comfort that we lose all will to continue on to our original goal.

There’s lots of options here and far more than I could cover in this short article. For example..Perhaps you are now truly happy with where you are, in which case there’s no need to move on anyway.Perhaps, by continuing on, you actually aren’t happy with your lot and you really need to accept that perhaps this is as far as you will ever get anyway, so accept it and enjoy it.

The point I’m trying to make here is that we can often lose confidence in our ability to reach our goals and the best way to keep ourselves motivated and on track is to stop, take a breath and look back on how far we’ve already come.

Celebrate and enjoy the progress you’ve made, in whatever it is you desire.Enjoy those around you; enjoy the person you have become.

Then re-kindle the passion and the drive that has taken you this far and re-light it to give you that boost you need in order to press on and venture higher.
So, whatever your own Everest may be, remember to take a look back down every now and then – good luck with your climb

Thank you for reading


Stay Safe and Have Fun

Al x

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