Pushing Past the Edge

"If you go as far as you can see, you will then see enough to go even farther." John Wooden

One of the challenges I face on the trail is my own fear and uncertainty, particularly of heights. For those of you who do not understand this challenge, the twists and turns of a trail tracing over and around rocks and gulleys can give the appearance that the trail just ends. If I were to ride solely on my fright response, I would turn back. Instead I have learned some useful lessons about healthy decision-making from the trail.

  1. Make a decision to start. Decide to push yourself past your comfort zone, even if in small ways. You can't enjoy the trail from the safety of the barn.
  2. Gather the best information available at the time and believe that you will learn new things as you go. As you gain new information, you will be equipped and able to make new decisions. As the trail unfolds, you will know whether it is wise to continue - the trail may actually drop-off - but it is more likely to lead you to new adventures.
  3. Consider the risks and prepare. Support your decision by considering the risks - prepare to face them if necessary and have confidence in your preparations. Think through what you would need if .... There is a quiet courage that comes from trusting your horse and carrying a few supplies.
  4. Trust your decision - focus on the reason you started out on this path. This becomes important when you have doubts or setbacks. Remind yourself of other times you faced uncertainty and you persisted. Remind yourself of how good it feels to challenge yourself and get through!