People have an incredible ability to procrastinate. To avoid doing the things that they wish they were really doing. Fear drives us to not put ourselves out of our comfort zone and feeling like we might fail is not an easy emotion to ignore. So it is no wonder that there are thousands of amazing adventure ideas in the world that never actually come to light.
The great thing about committing is that you only need to do it the once for something to become familiar. Since doing Scoot the Loop and getting over my fears of doing an adventure and bivvy camping, these things seem far less scary to me now. Ive been through the process, put myself out there and survived. I now know what to expect so the next challenge doesn’t seem quite as daunting.
Hold onto an idea you have and use these steps to make your dreams happen. The same applies to all areas of your life, not just for an adventure.
1. Tell the world
Telling people makes an idea seem real. It puts you under a bit of pressure as you then have people waiting expectantly. As soon as you have something you want to do, tell your friends and family, post it on social media, make an announcement on your blog. Generally, the more people you tell, the harder it will be for you to find an excuse out.
2. Book the time off work straight away
If you need to take time off work, book it straight away. Don’t hesitate.
3. Set a goal or a purpose
Adding a meaning to your challenge can make it feel personal and provide you motivation in times of doubt. I’m really passionate about charity work so use my adventures to fundraise. When I’m feeling insecure or like I can’t do it, I think of the children that will benefit from the money I raise and this spurs me to keep going.
It doesn’t have to just be for charity though. Maybe you have a story or chapter in your life that you want to acknowledge or recognise with a challenge. Maybe you lost someone and want to do this adventure in their name. Find a way to add meaning.
4. Invest your money
Buying something big for your adventure is an easy way to ensure your commitment. Something like a flight or piece of equipment.
5. Read books and watch films
Take some inspiration from others who have done similar challenges. Find books about the area you are heading or films that are based on the activity you are doing. Check out this list of 100 awesome adventures and read the blogs. These are all ordinary people, like you and me, who had an idea and made it happen.
6. Write it down and visualise it
Writing your goal down on a peice of paper and putting it somewhere prominent where you will see it everyday (like on the fridge door) is a well used technique. As is visualisation. When you are on the bus or waiting in a queue, use that time to imaging you are on the adventure, making it happen. Imagine finishing it and the amazing feeling you are going to experience.
Both of these tools are used regularly by athletes, business men and high achievers to provide regularity and familiarity for your brain. Many believe that if you see something you want enough and imagine yourself with it, you will start to believe it is possible. This absolute belief leads to it becoming a reality.
7. Work on your confidence
Confidence is a big reason why many people hold themselves back on achieving their dreams. Try and do something every day that pushes you slightly out of your comfort level. Reading books that are designed to give your confidence levels a boost can have a big impact, or nothing gets me feeling good about myself more than a motivational TED Talk.
8. Do a relevant course
Find a free course on MOOC to enhance your knowledge of the environment you will be in or the animals you will see. Sign up to a practical qualification such as First Aid. Or join a gym or fitness group that will help you get in shape.
Get your mind and body trained so you feel ready for your adventure.
9. Surround yourself with like-minded people
There are lots of groups dedicated to adventurers where you can meet other people who are taking on their own challenges. Share your story with everyone and ask questions. Many of them also organise meetups. For women join the Women Adventurers – Love Her Wild group or you can try the Yes Trip or Explorers Connect.
10. Find a mentor
The great thing about the adventure world is that a lot of challenges happen as a result of other people helping. Most adventurers recognise this and are happy to pay it back to others who are starting off as they once did. Don’t be afraid to ask people on forums, groups or direct email if they will help you out. You will probably be surprised by the positive responses you get.
Likewise. Once you’ve done your adventure, offer to help others starting out.
Nothing inspires me more than hearing about other peoples adventure ideas. Please share them with me in the comments below (remember, telling people is committing!).