Dare to Dream

Resilient people strongly believe in their own competence. They are capable to recognize the positive sides of life and their own natural skills. In doing so they are better able to not only accept new challenges but to even go looking for them, to grow further in their character and competence. Meisterleistung

Developing and growing our own skills gives us self-trust and the belief that we can conquer challenges. We start to believe that we can grow our skills to match our mountains. This makes us resilient especially when faced with a challenge that requires greater skill from us. When we grow in our skills, like growing in problem solving, we start to belief we are capable and this fills us with motivation. An excellent story that illustrates this is a documentary called Free Solo.

This documentary is about a guy called Alex Honnold who free climbs (climbing without ropes or harness) El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. This climb has been described as the greatest athletic achievement in history as the epitome of achievement for the climbing community. In the beginning when you hear about the story, it is a story of great risk and great achievement, very much the stuff that great stories are made of.

When you watch the film you see it is about that, but also about so much more. The documentary follows Alex’s journey as he prepares himself for the El Cap climb. His preparation is filled with countless climbs on El Cap with ropes and advisors and friends to help him figure out how to exactly do this. He has been preparing for eight years for this climb.  Each evening you see him writing in a little book every move, every step of how he will do this time. Countless times the camera shows him rehearsing the climb in his mind. 

“I try to expand my comfort zone by practicing my moves over and over again.  I try to work through my fear until it’s not scary anymore.” – Alex Honnald

At a point he wakes up and starts the climb. 30 min into climb we see Alex, coming down. Today is not the day, he has not mastered that one move yet, and if he continues he will fall to his death. A month later and more preparation later, Alex returns and climb El Capitan without ropes in 3 hours 56 min. 

Risks, mastery & resilience

His story is not a story of only great risk, but of great mastery and great skill. When we build our skill, we build our resilience, we build our capacity to take on great risks and succeed. With this kind of resilience we don’t fear challenges, we go looking for challenges, we go looking for the mountains to conquer. As leaders we want to set this example to others, that mountains can be conquered, that you are daily building your skill and mastery.

“I like to think the risk, the chance of me falling, is extremely low while the consequence is extremely high… To take something that feels difficult and dangerous and make it very safe.”– Alex Honnald

His journey to go from making this difficult and dangerous journey safe is the journey of growing his skill. I heard someone comment on this movie that is not about being dared to take a great risk, but rather to dare to prepare, dare to grow in skill. Without preparation we might dream and risk, but we will never succeed. Building your mastery and skills will enable you to realize the big risk, the big dream, the big vision. The key lies in building our skill one step at a time, one climb at a time to conquer your own El Capitan.

Tips to grow:

  1. Identify your top 6 skills.
  2. Identify a dream or vision that you have that will require one of these skills.
  3. Design a plan to grow in your mastery of your skill. What books will assist you in this growth? Which partner or friend can keep you to your plan? Design a weekly rhythm to grow in this skill.


Written by Magriet Badenhorst – Xpand Consultant, Coach & Trainer

Get your copy of Resilience for R190 today at info-sa@xpand.eu or on kindle.

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