Believe in Yourself and Be Happy!
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you can’t be happy or successful ~ Norman Vincent Peale
I’ve been trying to be more active on Twitter, in addition to the retweets I typically do I’ve been posting out some of my own quotes. Little bits of advice or wisdom or things I’ve written that I feel are worth quoting. Last night I wrote this, I know you’re scared, I know you don’t think you can do it, but I believe you, you got this.
I wrote it as much for myself as others. I think that in order to be happy, you have to believe in yourself. You have to develop the confidence that you can accomplish the things you want to accomplish. How do you do that? Well, first it helps to do little things that you can accomplish that will help build up your confidence and your feeling of accomplishment. Then you have to push yourself, in order to be happy I have always believed you have to stretch yourself and get out of your comfort zone.
One of my favorite quotes is by Joe Vitale, your goals should scare you a little, and excite you a lot. I really believe to be happy you must have goals that do this. Most of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I’ve become a fairly accomplished long-distance hike. I’ve walked across Scotland, done a trek to Base Camp on Mt. Everest and most recently I did a 1000 miles on the Appalachian Trail.
Hiking can help you believe in yourself
I’ve always been a day hiker and had even done some impressive day hikes to difficult locations and over long, single day distances. But when I was about to turn 45 I had decided to do something bigger. I became enamored with the idea of going to Base Camp on Mt. Everest. This meant a 22 day supported trek in the Himalayas, where I would spend 14 days over 14000 feet. Prior to that trip I had never been higher than 12,000 and that was being a tourist in Lhasa, Tibet not a hiker with a pack on. So following what I talked about, I needed to do something to build my confidence. Working out in the gym and doing some day hikes was a given. But step two for me was to spend some time in Bryce Canyon National Park, 3 months to be exact, I’m fortunate my family has a cabin near the park. I spent my time there doing day hikes, many at 8000 feet and once a week hiking up on Bryan Head Mountain at 10000 feet. So I started to feel better about hiking consistently day in and day out as well as hiking at altitude. Not quite the altitude I would be at, but higher than I had previously hiked.
Next, since I’d never done a true long-distance hike, I went off to Scotland to do a 7 day hut to hut hike in Scotland. The huts were BnBs, so not exactly roughing it, but similar to the hike would be in Nepal. The next jump was of course to head off to the Himalayas. The trek went incredibly well, I spent an amazing time in the Himalayas an absolutely bucket list worthy trip of a lifetime.
Believe in yourself and you can do anything
After the success of my trip to the Himalayas and with my impending 50th birthday I had even bigger plans. I decided I would thru-hike the Appalachian Trial, a nearly 2200 mile, 6 month, unsupported hike. One of the big secrets I told no one before heading out, was that in fact, I had never done an unsupported, multi-day backtracking trip before. I had built my confidence in Utah, Scotland and Nepal but I was still afraid. Doing anything like this for the first time will truly scare the hell out of you, that’s how you know you’re pushing outside your comfort zone. One of my primary goals for the hike was also that I would attempt to write a book, again something I’ve always wanted to do that scared me. I’ve posted plenty here on the blog about that trip and if you want to read about the whole adventure, I did write that book, Appalachian Trail Happiness, and you can get all of the details there.
So to come full circle to where I started this piece. My evolution from occasional day hiker to occasional long-distance hiker, having now hiked all over the world, should be proof of concept. I’m over 50, over weight and have bad knees, yet starting at the age of 40 I transformed what and how I hiked. I have found that adventure, travel and getting out of your comfort zone is a way to be happy. First, believe in yourself, create some small success and then take a chance. I believe in you, you got this and I know you’ll have many happy days my friends ~ Rev Kane
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