I recently took a trip to Washington to climb Mount Rainier. A 14,000 foot glaciated volcano that sits in the Cascade mountain range.  I was thrilled to be climbing this  enormous mountain and was excited to try to overcome such a challenging feat.  When I got there, I was motivated and ready to go.  I had my pack fully loaded and I was ready to start the climb.  The mountain loomed overhead and I was ready to push myself to the limit! Little did I know, I would reach my limit quicker than I had expected.  It was halfway up the mountain when I realized that I was losing steam, that this climb was going to be much more than I had anticipated and that perhaps I was actually not fully prepared for this. As the climb continued on, I had the mental struggle and conversation with myself of, “am I going to make it?”, “Am I going to have to give up?”  Well, finally, I had to answer these questions honestly and the response was that, “Yes, I do have to give up.  It’s not safe for me to go on and I don’t have the energy.  If I continue, I will be putting myself and my team at risk.”  It was at this moment that I realized my exhaustion would cause more danger if I continued higher up.  I had to make a hard call, but the best one for me and for my climbing partners.  As much as I wanted to reach the summit and feel the satisfaction of standing at the top, I knew I had to make the hard decision to go back down and try again some other time. This was not my moment….not yet anyway.

You may be asking, what is she getting at with this story? Or, doesn’t it just sound disappointing?  Sure, to an extent, yes it does.  If you look at it from a different perspective, however, this could be seen as an uplifting story.  A story that helps explain the importance of knowing when you’ve reached your limit and when you need to take a break, re-evaluate things, and start again another time.  In this society, we are born to think that quitting is not okay, that it makes us failures or unmotivated individuals.  I want to explain to you that we should not follow this type of thinking.  This type of thinking makes it hard for us to start over, it makes it hard for us to pull ourselves back up and try again.  The beautiful thing about sometimes having to give up is that it makes us have to problem solve and use creative thinking on how to find a solution that works.  It makes us ask ourselves, what do I need to change or do differently in order for the outcome to be better next time?  If plan A didn’t work, then it’s time to implement plan B and give that a shot instead! Making a mistake or not getting the result you wanted the first time does not have to be made out to be a negative thing.  It is a chance to better oneself and find ways to do it even better and stronger than the last time.  What may have been something you only gave 60% effort towards initially, can now be something that you produce 110% effort towards.  In the end, you will be proud of the hard work you put forth and the rewards you reap will be much more memorable and important to you.

So, whether or not it’s climbing a mountain, re-doing a task at your job or at school, encountering problems in your relationships,  everything still comes down to the same mindset. That even if you make a mistake or fail at something, make sure you take time to re-evaluate what happened.  Next, decide what you need to change and devise a plan on how you can produce a new and better result next time.  You will find an inner strength like no other. As for me, I will train hard, condition my body for the results I want, and try to make it to the summit of Mount Rainier in the future.  In the meantime, I want to inspire my clients to give it their all and to never give up.  To pick oneself up and continue to push forth with your best effort! Lastly, it’s about the journey of growth – learning about who you are when you battle through hardships and overcome the obstacles that are thrown your way.  You will learn so much about yourself through these times and it will make you appreciate who you are.  If you have to throw in the towel or call it quits, don’t feel bad.  Sometimes, the timing isn’t right or there’s other factors that are out of your control.  When the time is right and you feel ready, you can take the reigns again and produce the outcome you want.