Born with a brilliantly positive attitude and a determination to take on whatever challenge her heart desires, Squash Falconer has done the impossible over and over again. In fact, Squash was the first British woman to climb and paraglide from the summit of Mount Blanc, which she rode to on a motorbike all the way from the UK.
From climbing Muztagata to Everest, Squash knows what it takes to push your limits and the idea of what seems possible. Read on to learn how to incorporate these tips into your own life.
1. Remove Failure from Your Dictionary
When you don’t know what to do, you very often know what you don’t want to do. In her journey of self-discovery, Squash opened herself to opportunity and tried as much as she could. Drawn to mountaineering, she joined friends climbing Aconcagua in South America. Squash had never pushed herself physically and mentally like that before and was thrilled by the experience.
From there, Squash took on climbing Muztagata with her friends. There the team dealt with death on the mountain. Squash started to question everything she was doing and saw how important it was to make careful decisions in high-risk situations. “You have to dig deep and ask yourself what you would want people to do,” Squash said of the experience. Experiencing loss requires you to move forward with a piece of that person in your heart.
As the team continued their trek, what was really important was on their minds. On summit day, the weather turned and the group was forced to go back. Reflecting on being so close to the top and having to turn back, Squash was shocked at how unimportant the loss was to her. While she may have failed at achieving her original objective, Squash realised that some of the best things in her life came from being flexible and not continuing the journey as intended. The adventurer has removed failure from her language because she knows that she often learns the most when the unintended occurs.
2. Find Focus in Fear
One of Squash’s greatest adventure was riding a motorbike from the UK to the foot of Mont Blanc, before summiting and then flying from the top. Squash used to be able to see Mont Blanc from where she lived and was stunned that people could actually climb it. Taking on this expedition was the culmination of three dreams that had evolved over the past decade into one magnificent adventure.
Squash climbed Mont Blanc three times before she was successful at paragliding off the top. During her second attempt, Squash and her partner fell off the mountain. At that moment, Squash was extraordinarily calm as she thought of what action she needed to take in order to right herself and her partner. That reaction gave Squash the belief that when it came down to it, she could do what she needed to do. Through this adventure, Squash learned that fear doesn’t kill you. Fear utterly focuses you. Knowing this can give you the strength to overcome your fears.
3. Banish Negative Thoughts
Eventually, the challenge to climb Mount Everest came Squash’s way. She had always said no to it because she didn’t think she could do it, but her previous climbing experiences showed Squash that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
As she made the climb to each of Everest’s camps, Squash had to banish all negative thoughts and tell herself she could do it. She reminded herself that she was prepared and had made the right decisions in the past. It was all about putting herself in the right place at the right time to minimize risk and focus on what she could control.
Thinking about who she was and what she’d done before was what gave her the confidence to keep going. She constantly had positive conversations with herself and increased her confidence while also taking the pressure off of achieving her goal.
4. Hang On to Happy Feelings
We can be so focused on reaching the main event of an adventure that we miss the moments in between. Squash’s curious and happy spirit helps her avoid this pitfall. Simply resting at base camp was an incredible experience for the adventurer. She advises all to enjoy each step and remember to look around.
On summit night, Squash felt every emotion possible. When the weather turned for the worse and Squash realised she wouldn’t be able to fly from the summit, she focused on just getting to the top. Moments before she reached the summit, Squash wanted to turn back. She was worried she wouldn’t be able to get back down, but her sherpa pushed her on to make the last 30 meters. On the way down, Squash felt like she had nothing left and struggled to continue. But in one extraordinary moment, she could feel the love of everyone she desperately needed to get back to and that propelled her forward.
Thinking of loved ones and keeping a positive spirit can help you move forward when there’s no other choice. Filling your mind with these thoughts when you’re at your lowest is incredibly powerful.
5. Dare to Follow Your Dreams
Squash’s resounding advice for women everywhere is to dare to follow your dreams. Say ridiculous things out loud and go for it. Doing the impossible requires you to be brave enough to say it out loud in the first place.
What inspired many of Squash’s journeys is her friendships. She attests that we can all choose who we surround ourselves with. Squash’s inspiring friends motivated her to attempt her first climb and empowered her with confidence in each adventure after that. You have the power to choose your friends and create an environment that leads to impossible adventures.
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