How to Overcome Dumb Thoughts of Inadequacy and do the Outdoorsy Thing

There you are. Staring at a picture of Alex Honnold completely smashing a route, with zero ropes of course, and you’re wishing you could rock climb yourself. It’s a feeling of desiring to do it, not knowing how to get into it and also not wanting people to think you’re an entirely incapable noob. What if you go to the climbing gym or hit up some outdoor routes and you suck? Isn’t that embarrassing? I know I’ve felt this way, but it’s time to slap yourself out of it and, thanks Nike, “just do it.” Here’s how:

Take on an IDGAF attitude

Does it really matter what Joe from the gym thinks about your form? Do you care what Lindsay thinks about your ski line? No. Why does it matter? If they judge you for not being perfect then they’re not worth being around. Don’t judge yourself because you feel like others are judging you. So what if you look like a Jerry? If you’re out there trying, that’s all that matters.


Find the right people

Find those people who are willing to take a few moments and help you with a new route, that scary ski jump or a technical climb. The outdoors community is mostly supportive and helpful. Everyone wants to share the excitement and love they feel when they get outside. Realize that people are stoked to help you learn and improve.


Understand that it’s awesome to have a challenging project

Sure, you see Bob killing a climb or being able to ride more miles than you, but you have the excitement of working up to that. It’s fun to work toward a goal. There’s that drive and sense of purpose that wakes you up in the morning and leaves the adrenaline pumping for hours.


Send it in your own way

You finally reach the top of the 5.9 climb that you’ve been working on since you started. It might have been a shaky send, but you’re there. You did it. That’s awesome. Revel in the awesome.


Celebrate the send

Tell your friends. Grab a margarita. Do a cannonball into a lake with a war cry bellowing from your mouth. You achieved something no matter how small of a step it might seem in the scheme of getting to be at Honnold-level rad.


Just put on those helmets, those boots, those skis and those harnesses. Leave self-doubt behind, or at least pretend until you forget all about the doubt. Breathe that fresh mountain air with some helpful friends and send it the way you want to send it.

3 thoughts on “How to Overcome Dumb Thoughts of Inadequacy and do the Outdoorsy Thing

  1. Karen September 8, 2018 / 11:00 am

    Love this! Everyone was a beginner at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

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