Turning Fear & Anxiety into becoming a Trailblazer
In the book, you often read how Nims takes the lead and powers through deep snow and often impossible conditions; leaving footholds or a trail, making it easy for others to follow. It is about doing all the hard work to make it easier for others. What also shows up, is his servant heart leadership where nobody ever gets left behind – no matter what effort or personal sacrifice is required by Nims. This heart attitude led to Nims rescuing many people who had either been left behind or he found stranded on a mountain for various reasons.
This is an extract from the book: Beyond Possible by Nimsdai Purja
“I had a funny relationship with fear. The running joke was that Gurkha soldiers never experienced terror or an anxiety, but the reality was very different. Being scared was human nature; We had only figured out how to manage its debilitating effects. Rather than allowing negative emotions to paralyse us we transformed fear into an inspirational energy, a motivator. On other occasions, I’d used it as a reminder of the primary missions overall importance and the value of staying calm.
I’m scared because this means something I’ll tell myself.
In war, for example, one role of the special forces was deliberate detention: arresting a wanted and dangerous individual. During those situations, my life was secondary to the operation; capturing the target was our goal meanwhile the product felt for the institutions I’d been representing was way bigger than any concerns I might have held for my health or morality. That attitude silenced any negative thoughts regarding what might happen if someone was to open fire on me or whether or not I’d lose a limb or two in an IED detonation. The same psychology rang true on the mountain.
Often acknowledged that the odds I might die were quite short during an expedition, and there was a chance I could seriously hurt myself, but that’s as far as I ever went I never contemplated how it might happen, all the pain I might experience during my final moments. Instead I focused on my reputation as a mountaineer; I recalled the importance of being brave and acting with integrity. Strength and guile could take me anywhere and with the courage of 10 men I would prevail if the weather turned bad, or the mountain looked primed to avalanche, I used my nerves to focus, mainly by treating the environmental dangers around me in the same way a military unit would work to outwit an enemy. I looked over my resources and assessed the hostiles ahead, then I figured out the best tactics to neutralise them.
Having settled in at Gasherbrum 1 and Gasherbrum 2 shared base camp, I focused on how to overcome any traps the mountains might have laid for me. Then I put aside the bad thoughts regarding my tumble on the Nanga Parbat and in doing so another dialogue with the mountains had begun.
So, come on then…. This is you versus me.
Clouds gathered at the peak and the storm seemed to be growing, but it was of little bother. I understood that my team had the assets to overcoming any looming danger. After all, extreme altitude climbing was a mind game as well as a physical endeavour.
This is yours, Nims. This is where you come alive, I wasn’t being disrespectful. I’d deliberately adopted a neutral attitude to the peaks I was about to climb. Meanwhile, overconfidence was a dangerous position to take – it led to corner cutting and laziness, and I’d received a little warning about intelligence gathering and trust on the Nunga Parbat.
Trepidation was also sketchy – it caused an individual to overthink when they needed to be in a flow state. So my default setting before any climb was pitched somewhere in the middle, neither fearful or overly relaxed, but mom may aim was always to be aggressive: whenever I attack a mountain I attack at 100%.
I knew more than anyone that nature didn’t care for reputation, age, gender, all background. It was equally indifferent to personality color the mountains couldn’t give a… if the people exploring it were morally nasty or nice. All I could do was to place myself into the right frame of mind. Then I’d be able to tackle the challenges above.
- Deep powder? I will trailblaze like 100 men.
- Avalanches? I can mitigate.
- Crazy whacked out? Bring it on.
I needed to make myself a solid force on every mountain capable of smashing through any obstacle then it was go-time.”
As a coach, I would like to highlight a few points from this incredible extract:
- Nims high EQ helps him transformed fear into an inspirational energy, a motivator.
- He remained calm and focused no matter what! Despite negativity, despite bad weather, and despite naysayers.
- He has great ability to be in the NOW – a strong focus and ability to find flow
- Nims does not ignore being scared, or trepidation, he acknowledges it. He knows exactly how it feels and then disempowers or turns it into energy to move forward rather than allowing it to sabotage that specific moment or task. His vision and commitment to the current task is stronger than his fear; this helps him, to be neither fearful or overly relaxed, but somewhere in the middle.
- Nims mental strength to choose not to meditate on “what ifs” but focusing on the “facts in the now”
- Once Nims knew the dangers, obstacles, or challenges, he always shifted his attitude and focus to being brave, acting with integrity, strength and guile; whilst knowing his physical ability. This became his true north so to speak.
- Nims took the time to have a solid well-planned strategy, with a reliable and trustworthy team and the ability to be agile and adapt as curve ball appeared. Curve balls are a given.
- It is a clear that a strong mind and being physically fit is the minimum requirement for success. This is applicable to anyone trailblazing in business too
- One of Nim’s success factors is that he does not allow place for over confidence, arrogance, or a know-it-all attitude as this leads to cutting corners and laziness.
- Nims has the remarkable ability to be in the zone and give 100% all the time – no excuses of gender, age, background – just do, with the right frame of mind
Watch this valuable 10-minute video where Nims is interviewed:
This is a simple headline
Points/extracts from the video worth highlighting with my added bits:
- A positive mindset and belief will take you further than others
- Climbing the mountain with oxygen, was not about me and my achievements, but how I could be ready to save a life
- Yes, I have fear, but you cannot let it freeze you – turn it… focus on the moment
- If people worry about how you are doing rather than what you are doing, you are going to mess up – Be in the moment – focus in the moment 100%
- We are human, we make mistakes, as long as you don’t repeat the mistakes; then you are stupid.
- There is always others who are stronger or better than you – Fight your own self – become the best version of yourself. Then you don’t have to deal with jealously or comparison, which is the greatest thief.
- Only you know who you really are – believe in yourself and commit and make things happen
- Success does not just come – it requires time, effort, hard work and dedication (and sacrifice)
- Without sacrifice, nothing happens, you have to be ready to give…
- A Sherpa is a guide who opens the route – when we work together, we makes things happen
- I never knew I could do this – it is a mental thing
- You are here for a reason, you have to do this! Turn negativities into positives
- If you get out of control, you are not good to anybody
- Motto: it is better to die than to be a coward
- It is purely about purpose and impact rather than the financial gain.
I am not a mountain Sherpa, nor am I Nims. I am an International Master Coach working with people from many countries. I am here to help you turn the things that hold you back into things that empower you to become the best version of yourself and trailblaze your life.
Book a free 30 minute appointment:
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