What do you do when a ‘normal’ life isn’t what you really want? Lindsey Cole is one example of a woman who rejected the norms of society and created her own path. She has done so many incredible challenges from walking the rabbit-proof fence in Australia, roller skating 150 miles in Bude in a nude suit, and circumnavigating Australia by hitchhiking with truck drivers.
Through her story, Lindsey offers fantastic advice for listening to your own desires and living the unconventional life you desire.
1. Follow the Call of Adventure
Lindsey felt the call of the extraordinary from a young age. In fact, what was supposed to be a gap year after school became six years of travel and adventure. Lindsey related, “When you don’t know what you want to do, it’s quite hard to settle down.” For years she went from place to place before coming back to study journalism and refine her craft of storytelling.
While settling down may be the normal thing to do, amazing things can happen when you go your own way. If shaping an out of the ordinary life is important to you, don’t be so quick to follow the crowds and listen to the call of adventure.
2. Channel Your Energy
When her dad suddenly passed away in 2008, Lindsey was lost and depressed. Later she signed up for the London to Paris triathlon to raise money for her dad and give her a new focus. “That’s all you need when you grieve, something to channel your energy,” Lindsey pointed out. Even after 10 years without cycling, Lindsey loved the experience.
Whatever you’re going through emotionally can be a great motivator for self-growth through a challenge. Let yourself grieve and feel as you need and then channel it into something that helps you keep moving and growing.
3. Go Bigger
With every adventure Lindsey conquered, she felt more and more invincible. Like many of us, Lindsey considers herself an average woman, but the challenges she embarks on showed her otherwise. She described, “When you don’t think you can do something and you do it, you’re in a state of euphoria. Once that’s done, another idea comes up. It makes bigger things seem more achievable even if you thought before that they would never be possible.” This kind of thinking is how Lindsey worked up to competing in an Ironman.
Even if you think you’re not capable of much, you really are. You just need somewhere to begin. Lindsey illustrates that every adventure leads to another that pushes us even further and shows us what we’re really made of.
4. Get Inspired By Others
When you’re struggling to choose the next thing in your life, finding inspiration from those around you and the stories you read can be life-altering. After learning about the aboriginal girls who were taken from their homes to be domestic slaves and escaped by walking along the Rabbit-Proof Fence, Lindsey was inspired. She found solace through her struggles to think of these girls who walked over a thousand miles without shoes to escape slavery.
For years, walking the rabbit-proof fence in Australia was a dream of Lindsey’s, but no one had done it before and information was scarce. Lindsey finally travelled to Australia with a one-way ticket to get the information she needed and embark on the great journey. Although some didn’t approve of her idea, Lindsey got permission from the daughters of one of the girls who had made their escape along the rabbit-proof fence and decided to set out.
After completing the walk, Lindsey was able to meet one of the women who had gone on this incredible journey before her and express how much she had inspired and empowered her.
5. Design Your Own Life
Lindsey often feels like she doesn’t fit in when she thinks of normality, but has chosen to design her own life and decide what normal means for her. Today, she’s writing a book in France and enjoying her unconventional and extraordinary life.
Her final advice to the Tough Girl community was that an unconventional life is full of highs and lows. If Lindsey would have listened to the people who told her not to do a challenge, she would’ve missed out on the best things in her life. “No matter how small or how big, give your ideas a go,” Lindsey said. “The worst thing that can happen is having to pull out.”
Website & Blog - www.lindseycole.co.uk
Twitter - @LindseyCole
Instagram - @Stompycole
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