How to See Your Successes

These days I am over-the-top inspired by Emily Harrington, a professional rock climber who also alpine skis and has summited Mt. Everest. I first came across her during a trip down the Instagram rabbit home, and I’m totally psyched the fates led me to her.

She’s only the second woman to send Yosemite’s El Capitan. If you want to have your socks knocked off, take 16 minutes to watch this epic video of her climb that took six days (she slept on the wall, people) and was the culmination of 40 pitches.

Here’s what I love about Emily: She celebrates her successes as well as her failures. She’s as real as it gets. I love to watch her climb and then fall. She yells, groans, even cries. She says she can’t do it anymore. Sometimes she can’t. Over a year ago she and a group of fellow elite climbers attempted to summit Hkakabo Razi in Myanmar, only to be forced to turn back due to a serious lack of food and severe weather conditions. And she made it up Golden Gate despite some serious self-doubt.

But here's the thing: she digs deep and either finds it in herself to succeed or to fail. Either way it is a culmination of her choices, and the climb continues or she decides to descend. Either way she still counts the journey.

I can’t count the number of times I didn’t give myself credit when I was younger for putting myself out there – despite the odds, despite my inexperience, despite the fact that I was terrified. These days I’m rocking a reframe: I’ve done solid work over the years, even if I haven't been rewarded in the traditional ways (money, fame, a Jaguar, a publishing contract, you get the picture). I’m glad to have finally have learned at 40 what Emily figured out way before me (she just turned 29 this year).

True, we won’t all be Emily Harringtons, but that isn’t the point. The point is, what epic adventures have you discounted in your life, and are you ready to reclaim them? If you did, what would your new story look like?