It doesn’t matter how you challenge yourself. The knowledge and experience will be transferred to the other parts of your life.

This is my third year skiing. I love outdoors and this was yet another way for me to explore the beautiful surroundings. I have seen some remote and magnificent places by skies. Last season I climbed and skied the highest mountain in Sweden, Kebnekaise – one of my skiing highlights so far. There is more to come!

My background in sports is not outstanding, but I have done many various things during my life. I am very active. But I have never tried skiing. However, I have proved to be a fast learner. The first skiing season was finished by a participation in Riksgränsen Rando trying to catch up with some of the best athletes in Sweden, I would say. Being a part of the team that finished last, in this context, it does not matter. I dared, I had fun and I managed! I managed a steep icy off-piste, a narrow and tiring boot-hike and keeping the pace that worked for me and my gear. When looking back at what made the first season so good I could identify these three components: I had fun, I faced a challenge and I constantly developed. These ingredients are always present in my skiing and, in fact, these ones are crucial for learning or developing a new skill.

This season started for some reason differently. I could not find the flow, I could not feel the joy and satisfaction. It was simply not fun. What did change? I think, I had a particular expectation on myself this time, an expectation of being a good skier. Two seasons before I skied with only one question in my head – how do I make my skiing possible? This time it was not enough. I was tense, I switched to the achiever-mode and I could not enjoy what I did. After some time of self-reflection I decided to try out two things:

  1. Just observe without any judgement what I do and what happens.
  2. Set the intention for each run or even the same intention for the whole day.

By applying the first exercise I could get rid of the expectations which were interfering my skiing. The second exercise – setting the intention – helped me to stay focused and improve one skill at a time. The silent observation of myself helped me to learn, for example, that I start contracting my toes, when I get scared and therefore it is harder for me to have a good balance. What an insight! It is not because it is icy and steep, but rather because I have an idea of my skiing skills. It is only in my mind. From the pure observation I could understand when it happened, what caused my feeling of fear and I could start preventing this from happening. Later on I observed that I have an inner dialog with myself. It is, in fact, a self-coaching session. The dialog raises my awareness. Once when I am aware, I can start working with the insight by, for example, setting an intention, a goal for the next time a similar situation occurs.

I have also noticed that this techniques of observing, exploring the situation/feeling and setting the intention is very powerful. By applying it in my daily work, I’ve started feeling more joy and I’ve gained the freedom of choosing what I want to do and when.

Here are some questions you could use for self-coaching:

What do I feel in this particular situation?

When does it happen?

Where in the body do I feel the sensation?

What makes me become aware of the situation?

How do I react?

What happens when I react as I do?

How would I like to do instead?

What can I try to do the next time?

Explore, enjoy and dare!

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