I’m somebody who is in control of my mental state, by this I mean, I know if I’m having a dip I know why and I know how to get out of it. I also know if I’ve got any self doubt I can over come that by doing certain little tricks that help me.
I’ve been doing a challenge looking for my break point mentally and physically by climbing the equivalent of Everest over 8 months, which is exactly the same time it took me to learn how to walk again. I’m yet to find my break point physically even though I’ve been shattered while out on the hills. I know I can’t just give up, but for days and sometimes weeks after I’m very weak physically and I struggle to get around. I do some times have self doubt because it’s all new to me and I’m not sure how my body is going to hold up and there isn’t many if any people with my injury that have taken on some of the things I’m doing. I had a bit of self doubt this weekend where I attempted to do two of the Yorkshire 3 peaks in one day. This would be around 12-15 miles and around 5000ft. I woke up a bit nervous about what I was about to take on. Can I do it? What will people think if I fail? What will I think if I fail? I used the little tricks I mentioned before and within minutes I couldn’t wait to get started and get started early on in the morning. But we couldn’t get started early because we had paid for breakfast which wasn’t till 830am so by the time we’d finished up we didn’t hit the mountain till 945am. The sun was already beating down making it even harder for me. I know the day before, weeks before and even months before I wanted to be setting off at sunrise around 5am knowing it would be cooler and I’d stand more of a chance of succeeding. I’ve always tried to be a people pleaser and I try to make life easier for others but what does this do to our own mental health. I managed to get up the first mountain with out too much trouble I was feeling good the next mountain was trying to play tricks on me as it looked so menacing and I was thinking, “wow I need to get down this and up that!” but I knew had it in me to succeed. I kept thinking “right now I’m the highest disabled person in Yorkshire” and when I’ve finished I could be the first person to have done the two in one day. This was a massive factor for me and was driving me on to get up the next one. I thought if I do this, people would take inspiration from it. Three quarters of the way down (which is always tricky) and the loose rock made this very challenging, the decision was made not to go up the second one due to time. This was not what I wanted. My emotions were all over the place for the last little bit. What I achieved that weekend was unbelievable the smile on my face should have filled the room yet I didn’t feel any of that. I felt I’d failed. I wasn’t proud, I was disappointed in myself for not speaking up and saying I can do this and I’m going to. I made a few mistakes that day; mostly by not speaking up the day before about what time I wanted to leave and not be swayed by anyone else. Is this a weakness? I get satisfaction from helping and pleasing people but is this affecting me mentally because of it? It affected me for a day before I pressed the reset button and took stock. I knew I would fail at some point along the way but when you fail you learn and you don’t make that mistake again The mountain will still be there and I’ll do it on my terms next time and…..I will succeed and fill a room with a smile.
So maybe next time you are just going along with something just to please other people, and you’re not entirely happy about it…….just step back take stock and speak up.
If you need any help with this get in touch with Allan