Monday, September 8, 2014

A is for An Inch. Which is A LOT.

Yes, it's been some time since I have posted and yes, I still have a few more letters to cover off on, but it's been a crazy month. I started a new job, I ended a relationship, I moved, and most importantly, I took some time away from writing. However, by letting go this past month of all the not-so-good in my life, I've made some room for GROWTH. How much? Well, a lot. And it all started with an inch.

This past weekend I went to Mammoth. Outside of it being one of my happy places, it was a very meaningful trip. Last summer I went on a backpacking adventure through the Eastern Sierras. The goal (hey, I'm a Typer A-er, of course there was a goal!)? Summit Middle Pal. However, I didn't make it. Sure I had fun with my friends. Sure I got to almost 13k ft. But I did not hit the summit and to me, that meant I failed. My success was not based on my journey but rather the goal. (And I know you know where I am going with this but I'm going to go there anyway.) Having worked with my Life Coach this whole time, I have come to learn that managing my vision of success means letting go of the end result. So much success was had on that trip last summer but I was too goal-oriented to see it.

Fast forward one year later. I sign up for rock climbing instruction. And not in a gym, but on real rock, in Mammoth. The kind that held me back at Middle Pal. And before I went I spoke to my Life Coach about it. I said this is the skill I need to get me to the summit, but I'm scared about trusting a complete stranger to help me. She reminded me to watch my words, and reframed that statement to be, "I'm curious to see how I work WITH trust on this trip." Then she spoke to me about success. And this isn't the first we've talked about success. What do I see success being? I said, not being afraid of Middle Pal again. Complete each task they give me. Walking away strong and ready. Hello, list maker...

So yeah, that had to be reframed, too. I had to manage my vision of my success. If I didn't get to the top of the rock, I had to be ok with where I got. I had to measure success differently. In baby steps. Or in the case of rock climbing in inches.

And wanna know what? It worked. Sure, I had to remind myself of it, (out loud too, which made me look REALLY insane) but it worked. And I was brave enough to mention this to both my guides. That I not only wanted to work on rock climbing skills, but use it as a tool to help me manage my vision of success and work on my trust. It's amazing how with each step (which felt like miles but was really inches) I felt happier with that one step. And the top, 100 feet above me was no longer the goal. It was actually very liberating to let go of that success marker. And actually, it made it easier to get to the top, as well as listen to the new lessons I was learning. My brain was no longer on "get to the goal" mode. No more rushing to cross this off the list. No more anxiety about failure.

I know it sounds like I've accomplished a lot in a little amount of time but that's not true. This journey has been happening for almost a year now. And continues to happen. And inch by inch I'm growing into the person I want to be. Is that a goal? Sure, but, I'm enjoying the journey much more than I am crossing it off my list.

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