What are you afraid of?
During my time as a high school Sunday school teacher, I oftentimes told my students that being scared wasn’t an excuse to not do something. I have carried my own advice with me throughout the years, whether I was at a job interview, crossing a steep mountain pass with a scary drop off on both sides or some other endeavor where I felt scared and unsure of myself. I am firm believer that having courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid or never experience fear. To me, courage means you move forward anyway and don’t let those negative feelings stop you. I have gone through more of those experiences this past year than I think I ever have. Perhaps I am just getting more sensitive or more in tune to my feelings as I get older. I lost two jobs in the course of a six-month period of time. The second job made me incredibly ill due to the stress I was feeling. When I lost the second job, I was one of the happiest people you could ever wish to meet. I decided I wanted to feel like that all the time. I made two huge, scary decisions within a very short time span. The first was a decision to hike the Superior Hiking Trail. The second was my decision to pursue a lifelong dream of business ownership. I launched KLA Outdoor Adventures.
I still can’t believe I had the courage to spend 27 days alone in the wilderness! I backpacked a total of 270 miles from Canada to Duluth on the Superior Hiking Trail. During that time, I experienced a wide range of emotions several times each day. I became incredibly vulnerable. At times, I went for hours and sometimes well over a day without seeing another person. The internet and phone connectivity on my trip was often non-existent. I was completely cut off from all support and human contact. It was during those times, I had to evolve from relying on the support and positive influence of others to believing & trusting 100% in myself. It gave me plenty of time to think about where I wanted to go and who I wanted to become.
I came out of that experience knowing I am capable of accomplishing so much more. I now have an incredible sense of self-worth and self-reliance. It taught me the incredible power we all have to be an amazing positive influence on others and on ourselves. We can not only reach towards our full potential, but we can help others do the same. When I accomplish something that is out of my comfort zone, it gives me the courage to keep going towards bigger and scarier goals. Those experiences build on one another and help us to grow.
Karen Amundson, KLA Adventures
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