Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From the instructor's mouth: Part 5

Source: http://nielsenbrownoutdoors.wordpress.com/category/shelters/page/2/

At Outward Bound Canada, we're big believers in continuing the journey of self-discovery, even when your official trip is over. We asked Megan Kelly, Alberta Course Director, if she could recommend three ways for youth to continue growing and learning about themselves. Here are her suggestions:

1. Find a mentor that you trust. 

A mentor is someone who has similar interests, personality and passions as you, but is a few years ahead in experience and knowledge. Look around in your current circle of friends and family for someone who has a job or hobby that you could see yourself doing. Ask them out for coffee. Let them know what you're thinking of doing with your life, and how you'd like their support. By having someone available to answer questions or offer advice, you'll receive an immense amount of encouragement and confidence. Plus, your new mentor will likely find that they learn as much from you as you learn from them!

2. Push your limits: Make sure you are doing activities that bring you out of your comfort zone. 

Everyone's personal comfort zone is different. One person might be comfortable swimming out into deep, open water while another person is terrified. Another person might be nervous of public speaking, while another person feels at home with an audience. Part of the personal learning process is identifying these areas of life where you are comfortable and where you are uncomfortable. Consider what you did yesterday. Was there something that you hesitated to do? How did you overcome this hesitation or fear? How did you feel afterwards? We transform ourselves everyday, even in the smallest challenges. Feel good about it!

3. Try a solo experience

The solo is a modern version of an ancient coming-of-age ceremony, traditionally for young men, but practiced today by anyone of any age. Virtually every culture has a similar tradition that involves going alone into wild and sacred places to fast, pray and seek guidance and inspiration. It is an opportunity to reflect deeply on your life and a time to discover your sense of purpose and true gifts. Heading into the wild alone for any length of time (whether it's 2 hours or 48 hours) requires preparation, and notifying someone of where you are going. We recommend talking to others who have done solos, and reading up on how to prepare.

What ways to do you practice self-discovery and personal growth? We'd love to hear your stories, so please comment below.

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