Why a week in Finland will help me for a lifetime

Since my Winter Wilderness week in Finland last month, I’ve described it to several people as my best holiday ever. I’ve been thinking about why that is. Was it the incredible scenery?

Kitkajoki RiverPhoto by M Rogers

Kitkajoki River
Photo by M Rogers

The new skills I learnt?

First time on cross-county skisPhoto by M Rogers

First time on cross-country skis
Photo by M Rogers

Sleeping in a quinzee?

Our quinzee: we built it and we slept in itPhoto by M Rogers

Our quinzee: we built it and we slept in it
Photo by M Rogers

Or the people we were with?

Setting off on the Little Bear TrailPhoto by M Rogers

Setting off on the Little Bear Trail
Photo by M Rogers

Whilst all those elements contributed to my enjoyment of the week, I think that one of the best things about the holiday was this: it made me more comfortable with the idea of taking a risk, of not being great at something the first time I tried it and that it was okay to laugh at myself when things went wrong.

In a nutshell, my week really boosted my confidence.

Whenever we do something new, we’ll often see incremental improvements each time we try it. After a while, those improvements tail off and we feel like we’ve reached a plateau. We can become irritated and disheartened by our lack of noticeable progress: this can lead to some serious self-criticism.

Before I tried it, I’d imagined that cross-country skiing only took place on a completely flat surface and I would have no need to go up or down any slopes. Our first session was on a frozen lake so that was okay – then we moved into the woods where things became more complicated! It was so helpful to have other people there to encourage me, scoop me up when I fell over, to help me work out what I needed to do differently and to laugh with me (I choose to believe that was what they were doing rather than laughing at me!).

I don’t always have a group of friendly people to cheer me on and for those times, I’m finding it useful to use the same principles to stop me verbally beating myself up when things don’t go right first time. The benefits of seeing the experience as an opportunity to learn rather than an utter failure are –

  • It stops my mood sinking through the floor

– and that stops my performance sinking through the floor too

  • It allows me to analyse each stage of the process to find the problem

– and my new-found confidence gives me the emotional resources to pick myself up and have another go.

Today’s pebble for you to contemplate:

What boosts your confidence and how can you do more of it?

What do you think?

Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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4 Responses to Why a week in Finland will help me for a lifetime

  1. Kirsty says:

    Fabulous! Great message and I love your photos..stunning!

  2. Roger Martini says:

    My biggest boost to my confidence is having someone encourage me as I take steps towards my goal and reminding me that failing does not make one a failure. Being able to have help analysing the problem makes such a difference: when you’re face down in the snow, you need someone else to help you up and show you where you went wrong.
    Reading this blog is a real boost, too!

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