“Adventures only happen to the adventurous.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote and although I do love it, I think it could be easy to count yourself out if you don’t label yourself as “adventurous.” As a Life and Mindset Coach, I regularly watch people sideline themselves or minimize their achievements because they didn’t reach where they are in the way that they imagined they would OR they’re not as far along as they feel that they should be.
Oftentimes, when I hear people recount the stories of how they got to be where they are, even if they feel that they haven’t quite reached where they want to be, they disregard the commitment and tenacity it took for them to conquer the fear of being seen, to stay committed to their sobriety, to make the choice to choose laughter on the hardest of days of single-parenthood, the examples I could give you here are endless.
Often in life, you can, and do have a lot of adventures that you actually never intended to have.
Take me for example, I often get lost when I’m traveling somewhere new and let’s face it, I actually get lost frequently even when I’m traveling somewhere familiar! The struggle is literally SO real. To be completely honest, I regularly lose my car in a parking lot. Although I’m constantly “lost,” I’ve had many adventures because of it; being surprised by a waterfall while hiking down the wrong route, finding a new store that I frequent now because I was in the complete wrong part of town for a meeting, making new friends in various countries who went out of their way to help me find my way when they saw the confusion plain on my face. I have truly found some of the most kind souls in my travels because of my horrible sense of direction.
The trick wasn’t that I was set on having an adventure, the trick was that I was WILLING to have an adventure! If I’d been caught up in the fact that I took the wrong turn and I was berating myself and worrying over what I was missing out on, instead of opening my eyes to where my journey had brought me, I would be missing out on all that life had to offer me!
Yes, sometimes when life gets choppy and we deviate from the path that we thought that we would be on, and our timeline gets thrown out the window, it can feel disheartening. Especially if you’re a driven person and have you have big things you want to achieve in life, it can be easy to throw our hands in the air and rant and rave that we should’ve done something differently or that things should be different, but if you’re willing to get curious about what that deviation or that closed door might be teaching you, it all gets to become an adventure of discovery.
Sometimes an adventure might actually look a lot like rest! Sometimes an afternoon of canceling all the things you had planned in order to sneak off to a movie or to take a stroll in a new park or place that you’re unfamiliar with might be just the ticket to spark wonder and fuel your creativity.
Perhaps being adventurous is less about being ready to scale a mountain and more about your commitment to leaning into the conversation that is happening internally within and to the scenes unfolding around you. Remembering that you’re always co-creating with life as each chapter unfolds and that you have the ability to write the story as you’re living it, can be a powerful thing.
I wonder too, if you look back on your life, what you might edit or choose to see differently that may make you reimagine how adventurous you truly are. Is there something in your life that you continue to regret and be down on yourself for? What if you changed the expectation you had for yourself in that past moment? What could you appreciate about yourself or what did you learn about yourself that still benefits you today? Choosing to reframe the past in an empowering way also opens you up to new adventures and possibilities.
To make it a little more personal, ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been heavier. I can remember being in fourth grade (age 11) and being so embarrassed that I had stretch marks on my legs and breasts. Most of my stretch marks were actually because I grew so tall so quickly, not because I was too heavy, but still, I would hide them like scars, never wanting anyone to see. It wasn’t until the last few years (I’m 31) that I started to give myself more permission to show my bare arms in tank tops and bought actual bathing suits. I’d started swimming in baggy clothes when I was in middle school because I didn’t think that anyone should have to see the natural folds of my body. It’s been quite an adventure to challenge some of the old beliefs that I brought with me from my childhood; to recognize that if someone is offended by how I look it has less to do with me and so much more to do with them.
As I’ve started to look at my body with more love and respect, I also notice that I’m more inclined to make more responsible decisions TO my body and my health because I’m not committed to the belief that I should be hiding and ashamed anymore. I look back at the little girl who hid her body and although I’m sad she felt that she couldn’t just be seen exactly as she was (that’s still something I’m learning to walk in currently), I’m grateful for her experience because she’s given me compassion and empathy for others who may have or are leaning into comfort themselves with food or other coping habits.
Think of an area in your own life that you feel embarrassed around. What are the beliefs that you’re choosing to hold onto that maintain that perspective? For example, let’s say that you never celebrate your birthday or want to draw attention to the fact that another year has passed by and you don’t feel like you’ve accomplished as much in your life as you hoped you would by this point. Fun fact, shaming and judging ourselves actually keeps us stuck in the same place that we continue to say we don’t want to be!
Instead of continuing to wallow in self-judgment and constantly ruminating on the things you wish you figured out/accomplished by this time, challenge yourself to make a list of the things in your life that you’re proud of. You could set a timer for 20 minutes and simply make a list. When you begin to honor and celebrate THAT “To-Done” list and you build up respect and rapport with yourself for what you’ve accomplished already, don’t be surprised if you begin to call into your life more of the things that you’ve been aching to achieve!
If you’re feeling resistant to that exercise, it probably means it’s time to take an adventure and try it anyway!
What in your life might shift, if you realized that you ARE very brave with your life? Perhaps you might you discover that you’re a wonderful friend, a loyal hard worker, a detail-oriented person who made that project come to life, a tenacious mother who loved her kids into their potential, a brilliant genius who turned their frustration into a movement because they continued to put one foot in front of the other . . . a __________ (you fill in the blank)!
What audacious adventures have made you into who you are?
What adventures are you willing to have in the life you’re leading?
The choice is yours!
I can’t wait to see where you’re headed.
With profound love and hope for your journey.