What is Your Mt. Everest?


It's normal to feel afraid when reaching for new goals or going after your dreams. Here's some tips.

What is Your Mt. Everest?

Author: Julie
November 7, 2007
Category: Living Life as a Journey

Hello Everyone:

I find it so interesting to talk to people who are about to take on a new challenge. Think about a time when you embarked on a new venture that required you to step out of your comfort zone. Maybe it was going back to school and getting a degree, maybe it was leaving your employer to start a business of your own, or maybe it was developing new relationships and expanding your social world. Anytime we take on something new that requires us to stretch and take risks, we experience those awful growing pains.

For example, I have worked with many people who decide for one reason for another to go back to school and get a degree. I remember working with Suzie who did not see herself as a good student. Although she did have a bachelor’s degree, she was not very committed to getting good grades and basically did the minimum requirements to graduate. Her confidence in herself as a learner was low. Now some fifteen years later, Suzie wanted to go back to school and get her Master’s. That goal might as well been as big as climbing Mt Everest. The mountain she would need to cross was that daunting to her. Even the thought of just going on-line and researching graduate programs was overwhelming. She was often paralyzed with fear. It took a lot of hand holding, reality testing, and baby steps, but in the end Suzie applied to and was accepted by a graduate school. Today, she is two classes away from graduation. While her growth was not pain free, in the end it was all worth it. Not only will Suzie earn her Master’s degree and all that follows, she has developed and internalized a new version of herself – someone who can take on the challenge of education and succeed.

Now for some of you who are comfortable in the role of graduate student, this goal would not be your Mt. Everest. You might even have judgments about Suzie. “How can going on-line looking at graduate programs be so terrifying; I could do that for her in a heart beat”. But I assure you, you have your own Mt. Everest to climb. Maybe for you it’s going after that senior management position at your company. Maybe it’s getting married and having children. Maybe it’s fulfilling your dream of performing in a band at a club. What I find interesting is that when listening to someone else’s “Mt. Everest”, the action steps necessary to take seem so manageable. It’s hard to imagine why they find them so overwhelming. And yet….For our own Mt. Everest, we can be challenged and get stuck in ways that others find silly.

Really, the only way for anyone to get over their Mt. Everest is to take it one step at a time. Try not to focus on how high the mountain top looks from where you currently stand. Just focus on the next step that lies ahead of you. In addition, make sure you have a good support system around you. Find people that will encourage you, maybe even gently push you to the next level. Make time to celebrate small successes and milestones along the way. And don’t, I repeat don’t let set-backs stop you from moving forward. Anyone that has taken on Mt. Everest knows about set backs. They are part of the process; they enable you to learn and grow stronger, and without them, you’ll never make it to the top.

So here’s my challenge for you. What is your Mt. Everest? What actions do you find painful to take when it comes to reaching your goals? What insecurities and beliefs are getting in your way? What fears do you need to transcend as you make your way to the top? Take the time to create your plan and build your support team so that you can begin the journey. You’re worth it….growing pains and all!

Stay with me and engage in this conversation. Your voice has an impact. What are your thoughts on this subject?

We want to know because….Your life matters!

Take care and till next time,


Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.