Lessons from Mother Nature: Push Yourself


"Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds."
-Napoleon Hill

One of the first life lessons I learned from rock climbing (there are a lot) was to push myself. I started out as a fearful and cautious climber, sticking strictly to V0's and 5.7's in the climbing gym to feel safe. I wouldn't even boulder outdoors. Despite my fear, I would look at other climbers with envy and ask myself, "When will I be able to do what they're doing?"

It wasn't until one day, as I witnessed a group of little kids climbing at the gym, that I finally got it. These kids were fearless, jumping off of structures and climbing up everything they could. The big scary climbing gym was just a playground to them. It made me realize that my limitations came from my own head. They lived in me, and I was breathing life into them. If I believed that harder climbs were too hard, then they would always be too hard. I had to think like a child, carefree and unaware of my own "limitations".

The worst thing that could happen: I wouldn't be able to finish the whole climb.

The best thing that could happen: I'd succeed and be finally be able to be proud of my progress. 

As soon as I started to push myself, I started to succeed. Every day, I'd try a climb with a grade outside of what I thought I could do, and I did it anyway! And I couldn't help but wonder what other "limitations" were holding me back in my life. A world of possibilities were suddenly very achievable and possible once I began to throw my "limitations" away.

You can't climb harder climbs until you climb harder climbs. You won't move forward in your life until you take the steps to move forward in your life. It's that simple. Labels and excuses may get into your head, but they're not real. So what's holding you back?


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