It’s dark. So dark I can’t see in front of me more than a few inches. But I am intensely focused on the sound of my strained breathing and the strange scraping sound of my feet dragging through the scree (loose stones that resemble gravel).
Occasionally I hear a cough from someone in the line of climbers behind me, and each time I stumble, our guide says “pole, pole” (meaning “slow, slow” in Swahili).
It’s the final ascent up Kilimanjaro. They woke us at midnight, fed us popcorn and hot black tea, then led us away from our rocky, mountainside campsite through a pass in the cavernous rocks to the open trail. The sky was thankfully clear, with the full moon shining brightly overhead.
But, in these final hours, it seems the moon has disappeared. In fact, all sense of reality and direction has left me completely. I feel lost, with my awareness switching between two dominant states.
One state of mind is focused completely on surviving – breathing rapidly, trying desperately to take in a quick succession of breaths to get enough oxygen at this high altitude of nearly 19,000 feet above sea level.
I feel as though I have absolutely no reserve in the depth of my bones; no energy to tap whatsoever to take another step, to get to the top. How can I go on? What did I sign up for?
Then, my awareness rapidly switches to the other dominant state of mind: excitement, exhilaration; reminding me that “oh yes, I am almost there. Almost to the top of Kilimanjaro! I’ll see the sunrise soon and look out over the Tanzanian and Kenyan landscapes to the vast wild world of African below. I can do it!”
Each step up and “forward” feels defeating. As I lift a hiking boot a foot step ahead, my boot sinks into the loose scree and slides back downhill almost as far as I stepped ahead. Only a few inches of progress a minute, it feels.
“Oh my god, will this ever end?” I don’t have the energy to look forward or even up at my desired destination: the top of Kili. My head hangs heavily, exhausted; my eyes glazed and unfocused, with only my peripheral vision taking in vague, grayed images around me.
There are times in my business when I feel like this. Everything feels like a slog. The literal and painful experience that epitomizes the saying “two steps forward, one step back.” When I’m in this low place, I find it hard to keep my head up. Hard to focus on the big picture, my desired destination that is my vision for my business and my life.
I know you experience these moments too. And sometimes those moments stretch to days, weeks, months – and sometimes years.
But, there’s hope.
When we reached the top of Kilimanjaro and turned around to take in the view, it was both everything I’d every imagined – and a bit disappointing.
See, we were promised that if we left at midnight to hike up, we would arrive at the top to see the sunrise. But, our progress was slower than expected and so the sun was already up once we arrived. And the cloud cover blocked the view of much of the African landscape, offering just bits and pieces of what lay below, along with the not-too-distant peak of Mount Meru.
And yet – a dream come true! I had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest peak in all of the African continent; 19,314 feet or so above sea level. An amazing achievement and incredible experience to share with my new husband Matt on our 3-week honeymoon trip to Tanzania in East Africa.
I share this personal story with you from my life ten years ago because I want to help you to – not only climb your version of Mt. Kilimanjaro – but do so in a way that feels enjoyable, effortless, and allows you to get to the top sooner so you can see the sunrise from the top.
I’ve been there. I’ve experienced many challenges in my life and business ventures, and also (thankfully!) had many more successes.
And now I want to support you in identifying your Mt. Kilimanjaro – your big, bold vision for your life and your business – by cultivating the mindset and practices that will get you to the top sooner, with greater ease.
As I mentioned in last week’s ezine, I recently published my first book. You could say this is another mountain scaled in my two-decade long career. And I’m celebrating in every way I can!
To share my joy with you, for a very short period of time – and to support you in climbing your Mt. Kilimanjaro, I’m offering a 50% discount on my 1-day Performance Breakthrough Retreats.
This is a HUGE gift to you, and I’m so excited to extend this offer to you.
To find out more about my 1-day retreats and if it’s right for you, click here.
If you’re ready to get started, or simply have a few questions, please schedule a Performance Breakthrough Coaching Session here to assess if a 1-day retreat is right for you now and fill out a performance background evaluation form here. When scheduling, use the discount code “RetreatSpecial” to receive 50% savings!
If you’re still not sure if a 1-day retreat is right for you, no problem. Just book the breakthrough session with me here and I’ll answer any additional questions you may have.
And if you’ve already met with me for a coaching session and now know the time is right to move forward to the 1-day retreat, email me here and we’ll set-up a time to talk and confirm the date and time for the retreat that works best for you.