Skiing, and moving from a fixed to a growth mindset

by | Oct 28, 2022

In my early years in Australia, I went on an adventure to the Snowy Mountains and tried my hand at snowboarding. A mistake I, and my friends made: we didn’t get any lessons. We were young and arrogant, and thought it looked easy. Not getting lessons turned out to be a big mistake.

I lasted one day on the slopes. There was much falling and not much skill development. I must have fallen at least 40 times that day and I left the mountain soaking wet, freezing, and feeling fairly miserable, for what I thought would be the last time. I developed from that day a fixed mindset that, ‘snow sports were not for me.’

Fast forward to 20 years later and my partner in life and adventures, an avid skier, was encouraging me to give skiing a go. I was hesitant but he enticed me with incentives and goals, and highlighted the benefit of having lessons and coaching. He also shared his own inspiring life lessons and insights from skiing: ‘How you ski is how you do life’, and ‘Being on the mountain gives you so much clarity’. I was intrigued, and curious to see if I was as bad a skier as I was a snow boarder. I decided to give it a go, and took on the challenge head on.

I’m pleased to report today after recently getting back from another weekend up at the Snowy Mountains (my 9th trip to the snow in 3 years), I have actually developed a passion for skiing and appreciate all it has brought to my life.

From the exhilaration of being on the top of a mountain, completely enlivened by a new world of incredible, breath-taking views, to the unbridled joy of speeding down a mountain. There’s also community, camaraderie and a joyful culture that can be found on mountains across the world.

Here are some of my learnings and insights. Many can be directly translated to being in business:

  • A growth mindset starts with a ‘Yes’, or ‘I’m willing to give it a go’.
  • Taking calculated risks is exciting. No risk, no reward. Right?
  • There’s a lot of hard work involved, but its worth it. There is great satisfaction from achieving milestones on the path to developing mastery.
  • Training, coaching and mentoring provide shortcuts to increased skill levels, and reduce risks. They are now non-negotiable for me whenever I undertake a new endeavour.
  • You become better at facing fears, and surprisingly on the other side of fear is often joy.
  • You learn to fall/fail well. Learning to fail well is a crucial aspect of success.
  • Resilience is key.
  • Being in the present moment (mindfulness), is crucial.
  • Having a growth mindset is having a learner’s mindset. You are constantly learning and improving.

It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. Learning to ski later in life has been a great surprise and makes me wonder, whatever next? ☺

#growthmindset #coaching #mentoring #training #lifelonglearner #failureispartofsuccess #succes

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