Touchstones for challenging times – lesson 1 – Get over yourself

An 800km walk across the north of Spain in 2009 on the Camino the French Way provided six lessons for getting through challenging, changing times. The context involved 30km days, the Pyrenees, hills, hot and cold weather; back packs, accommodation in hostels of varying quality and comfort; two sets of clothing and leg injuries. Each day brought different challenges, interesting people and joy. The journey was mentally relaxing, spiritually uplifting, emotionally and physically challenging and ultimately, a reminder of important ‘life lessons’. It necessitated great adaptability to the unfamiliar and rapidly changing circumstances; and the ability to find the humour in every situation.

The key to getting over yourself is self awareness. How we see and experience the world is only how we see and experience it, no one else. We all carry well buried self-limiting beliefs, negative attitudes and expectations about ourselves and others that unwittingly hold us back or tie us in knots. And when faced with challenges, when push really does come to shove, we will find we can actually do more than we may ever thought possible. Getting over yourself requires making no assumptions about anything and avoiding judgements; having no expectations (of anyone or anything) and adjusting quickly to change. And if we’re really clever, deliberately setting our intentions for each day and deliberately choosing the attitude we want to take into our days lifts our game and energy levels immediately.