When I moved to the Seattle area I was taken back by its natural beauty. The volcanoes with their steep cliffs and perpetual coats of ice and snow inspired me so much that I made a commitment to myself to try and climb a few of them. What started out as a goal to push myself and experience the beauty of my new home ended up changing me in ways I could never have expected.
Pushing into the unknown
Any climbing endeavor requires an excess of specialized equipment, ice axes, helmets, excruciatingly expensive footwear, and of course the rope. The concept of using a rope is not a foreign one, even people who don’t climb can resonate with the assurance a rope can provide to overcome an obstacle. But what makes a rope unique to climbing is that it is not tied a stationary object, but to someone else.
I vividly remember tying into the rope before my first serious volcano climb. It was 1:30am and the moon cast a pale reflection off the snow as my fingers shook with anticipation and fumbled to tie in to the rope. I had to take deep breaths to control my racing brain, was I really about to trust my life, not only to this neon green piece of polyester, but to these people I had just met? The only thing holding me together was the knowledge that we had a guide to lead us, the amount of trust I was putting in this individual is incalculable, and was just what I needed at that time to confidently push out into the unknown.
Trust takes you places
Now, not many of us are climbers, but I think we can all identify with the incredible impact of trust in trying something new. Whether it’s a new job, moving across the country, or becoming a parent, having someone you can trust is paramount to providing you with the confidence that you can make it through, that you can get out of bed and make the magic happen.
What I learned that day climbing a volcano was that I wanted to learn how to be someone people could trust. Someone that could inspire people to see past the obstacle in front of them and find out that they can accomplish something that they may have written off as impossible.
I’m going to be writing a series of blog posts on the topic of trust. Not as someone who has figured it all out, but as someone who is striving to understand how to be a better person at work, with my family, and with my friends. This is not a journey I want to do alone, I would love it if you would join me, share an experience of how trust has impacted your life or ideas about how we can accomplish more by increasing the bonds of trust with those around us. Keep your eyes glued to this blog, as I will be continuing this conversation in the weeks and months ahead.