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What Goes Up, Must Come Down

The sign in front of us read: “This is a difficult hike. You will be walking in water.  Some common injuries are broken legs and broken ankles.” I’ll tell you, this is not an instant motivator for me when heading into new territory. My husband didn’t think I was ready for this hike last year or the year prior, but this year, somehow or someway, I was deemed ready. I had to trust he knew what he was talking about. His friend who joined us on the adventure told me they were bringing a safety rope, just in case. It always makes one feel secure being told a safety rope should escort you. This hike was said to be one of the most beautiful hikes in Southern Utah, I was excited to explore its beauty. I was also anxious, didn’t sleep very well the night before, preparing myself mentally for the unknown.  Where do you summon the courage to do something you’re not sure you can do?

Practicing trust

It all starts in the head. Mindset is number one. Without a clear mindset, you cannot even take the first step toward what you would like to accomplish. It’s that famous quote by Henry Ford, “whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” It has always been one of my favorite quotes because it’s true. You have to trust yourself before you can trust a new environment. You have to trust your intuition and your instinct. This comes from practice. Trusting yourself can be saying “yes” before you’re ready. This is where the majority of my greatest opportunities have come from.

Being present

Things change as we go along our path in life; our terrain changes. We have to be present and pay attention to where we are and what’s going on. We get going at top speed and miss a lot because we don’t realize circumstances are different. As we were making our way up this mountain river, we were alternating terrain back and forth from hiking the red cliffs, scrambling over and around boulders, to wading up the river. At times we were in cold water up to our thighs, the rocks beneath our feet were all different sizes, and slippery. Every step you took needed to be a conscious one or you could slip and fall. Normally there are not such extreme consequences for our lack of attention daily…or are there?

Managing your reserves

Preserving your energy is a difficult thing to do these days because there is so much going on. Quiet time has to be carved out and guarded with your life. We are juggling so many things at once: work, home, new projects, our social lives, and relationships. We have to tune into how well we are using our energy. On a hike like this, priorities were the amount of strength, mental acuity, awareness, stability, focus, and concentration needed to sustain the terrain we were climbing and weaving through. Managing slippery shoes while climbing steel pegs up a ladder, there is no room for error. Several hours in when we reached the top waterfall, I made an executive decision not to climb the second ladder, with missing pegs, because I wanted to make sure I had sufficient fuel and resources to safely descend. If you exhaust all your energy on the trek up, it can mean danger on the return.

Figuring it out as you go

On our way down the mountain, I felt myself begin to get a bit anxious as I realized we were getting closer to the waterfall I now had to climb back down.  “What comes up must go down,” right?  As we approached it, I remember narrowing my vision and focus directly in front of me. I heard the waterfall, but knew not to look down at the distance to the ground, or give attention to difficulty. My husband said, “which way do you want to come down?” I remember answering briskly, “I don’t care.” I did not know how I was going to come down, I had never climbed down a waterfall before. My husband kept inquiring, “some people like to go frontward and some like to go backward.” I just kept walking, one foot in front of the other. I did not stand at the top of the fall and try to figure it out as I do with most things. This was a feeling my way through, not thinking. I just followed my husband’s exact steps as precisely as possible, I mimicked what he was doing with his body and paid astute attention.  The metal pegs under my feet were slippery, and I felt someone start to descend above me. I stopped in my tracks, stood straight up over the boulders and said, “I’m going to need a minute,” the man kindly backed up and gave me some space. With that, turning my feet completely sideways on the wet pegs, I made my way down. I did not look around, I just focused completely on the task in front of me. My husband got so excited watching me make my way down, “good job, good job,” he exclaimed.  

It takes skill and courage to do this; if you don’t start with it, you will not succeed. I was thrilled when I reached the bottom. This was a big accomplishment for me.  Overcoming this hurdle gave me an immense feeling of internal victory. I completed this glorious hike and realized sometimes you summon the courage to do something by simply doing it. And in reflection, you never truly know who you’re going to be afterward until you’re being her.



About the Author

Stefanie Dumont is a leading Transformational and Business Coach in San Diego. She helps clients turn ambition, talent, and objectives into profit and greater happiness. Stefanie leads weekly Conscious & Carefree Mastermind Groups via teleconference for entrepreneurs and professionals, coaches leaders and their organizations, and hosts interviews with top influencers. Alongside her husband and kids, she enjoys writing lyrics and recording vocals for exciting projects, adventure, travel, and surrounding herself with people “going for it!”  

Stefanie is Co-Founder of the lifestyle blog “Conscious and Carefree”-formulas for joyful and productive living at bcarefree.com Sign up to receive free weekly blasts!

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