Embracing the Journey to a Growth Mindset

 Hopefully you have seen the  film Free Solo.  This is one of the greatest stories demonstrating the value of PREPARATION for a major achievement.  It’s easy to overlook the amount of time and resources spent in the journey, and only give tribute to the grand accomplishment. There is an extensive journey to receiving a Gold Medal, or creating a successful startup, or developing a constructive workplace culture.  Those who follow the process of achievement know that the journey is where the majority of  the growth comes from,  and is a foundational pillar for future growth and achievement.  

For over 15 years my clients and I have experienced epic adventures with impactful journeys.  Each person completing these adventures has a story to share about achieving something great.   Witnessing these moments, I want to inspire others to see their true unexplored internal potential.  Adventure is an exciting platform for developing an achievement and growth mindset.  There are so many skills and experiences that can be applied to many other aspects of life, such as:  

  • Understand the value of practice

  • Enhance problem solving skills

  • Resilient attitude

  • Constructive values and belief system

An unavoidable component of the growth journey is wrestling with incompatible thoughts and behaviors.  The Devil resting on one shoulder and an Angel sitting on the other is the cartoonish portrayal of this dilemma. Both simultaneously try to persuade the person to follow their advice. Incompatible opposing behaviors cannot exist at the same time.  When you walk up to a 200’ cliff it is your body’s natural instinct to inform you of life threatening danger nearby.   This is where we perform the personal safety check before a rappel off a cliff.  

The harness is on correctly, CHECK! 

 Attached to the rappelling rope, CHECK!  

The auto-block backup safety system is activated, CHECK!

Redundant safety check by someone in the group, CHECK! 

Even after all the safety precautions, there will be a voice screaming at you, “do you really want to do this?” Hundreds of “what if’s” flood the mind to make you doubt your sanity.  You now have a choice to listen to “I CAN’T do this” or listen to “ I CAN do this.”  You can only listen to one voice, and that voice will decide your actions.

Incompatible behaviors are not a sign of weakness. We experience them daily, and there is not a one size fits all  process for how to react to them.  Each person must assess the deliberation and then learn the process for responding constructively.  The key word is CONSTRUCTIVE or in a way that promotes growth. Reacting to incompatible behavior out of fear such as anxiety,  helplessness, competitiveness instead of collaboration, complacency not to change, victimization, and failure to launch will inhibit growth.

When we schedule a fitness workout into a busy day, we commonly experience  competing priorities when the alarm goes off.  Do we stay in our warm comfortable bed or get up and face the sweat?  Another conflict is when we want to lose weight then get up for second helpings, ahh excuse me, third helpings…. and don’t forget dessert.  Often there can be differences amongst team members.  The question is, do we impulsively react destructively or consciously in a constructive manner?

Listening to the voice that breaks through limiting beliefs, creates flow, enhances creativity and peak performance, and develops confidence that YOU CAN DO THIS is an adventurous journey full of character-building moments. 


Jennifer from Modere grappled with the Angel and the Devil while participating in a team-building activity during a Tyrolean Traverse Challenge.  Jennifer is the FIRST person  I have witnessed who gave in to the “I quit” voice, and then changed her focus to the,  “I can do this” voice, thereby overcoming the crippling effects of negative self-talk. She successfully used the mantra she learned in her pre-training program.   This allowed her to complete the challenge with a unique, fantastic spirit of accomplishment.  

Watch Jennifer's Story

Team Modere's Story of Overcoming Fear - YouTube

My daughter, who is studying cinematography in college, will be producing some of the adventure stories.  She  is excited for her opportunity to share these transformational events, and I am thrilled and honored that she will be recording these personal triumphs.


Teaching yourself to listen to the “I can do this”  voice under the pressure of fear based behaviors takes a very strong WHY to accomplish your task.  You will wrestle with irrational thinking, negative self-talk,  and defeatism.  These are  loud voices that are difficult to shut out under stress.  That is why Jennifer's story is so powerful.  She demonstrated that I Can Do It!  She is proof, we can change our attention while under extreme conditions to the voice that brings achievement, constructive growth, and enormous personal satisfaction.  

So, do you have a WHY for overcoming growth-inhibiting behaviors? There will be so many reasons and excuses to turn back when your journey begins.  It will be your WHY that keeps you moving forward.

For information about growth development adventure courses contact The Adventure Perspective at daogden@gmail.com


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