The Key to Self-Empowerment? Accomplishment
Summary: Becoming a mentor guide was part of my transformational journey. All winter, I worked on my goal and in the summer I was able to accomplish it. I had an overwhelming sense of empowerment and euphoria. I experienced personal growth which allowed me to mentor others on their transformational journeys.
Historically, I have always been an individual who has let my self-doubt and lack of self-worth control my actions and shape my character. I always had the negative mind-set of “there’s no way that I can achieve that, so there’s no point in even trying”. It was not until I came to the ranch, back in August 2018, where I became submerged in a unique and special environment, inspired by David Salyers book Remarkable!. Here, the books motto Believe the best in each other, want the best for each other and expect the best from each other is embraced as only positivity is promoted and no-one ever says that you cannot achieve your goals. As such, for the last 10 months, Chilcotin Holidays has facilitated incredible opportunities that have allowed me to break out from my restrictive mentality and achieve things that I never thought would be possible.
When I arrived, back August 2018, my goal had always been to be a guide for the summer wilderness trips. I knew from the start that it was an ambitious goal, and at the time I was quite tentative to take the first steps. But the support and opportunities that the ranch has provided has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and develop the skills needed to help me achieve this goal. For example, throughout the fall season, I was able to partake in different pack-trips up into the mountains, where I learned all aspects of horse care to wilderness camp procedures and wildlife safety. In the winter months I was able to begin my transformational journey as I developed my leadership skills and wilderness knowledge as a wildlife viewing guide. And in the spring I gained my PAL licences and my Advanced Wilderness First Aid; qualifications that would enable me to step up and take on the role as the mentor guide for the forthcoming summer season.
When May finally rolled over, I knew that I had gained the experience needed to step up to the leadership role that I had been preparing for all year. However, despite my preparation, I was nervous about the role I was about to step into. I still questioned whether I was ready to be responsible for guests and guide students in a remote wilderness environment, miles away from civilisation, and with only a radio for communication. Yet, despite these doubts, I was thrown in the deep end and given the responsibility to be the wilderness mentor guide for the forthcoming summer trips.
For the past two months, I have had the most incredible experience guiding guests and guide students in the Chilcotin Mountains. There have been many challenges along the way, but this feeling of accomplishment – of successfully achieving my goal that I have been working towards all year – is addictive. To have groups of people, not only have complete trust in me and my abilities, but to be willing to follow me blindly into the wilderness was an incredible feeling and something that I want to repeat in the future. It has become clear that in eight short weeks guiding at the ranch, I have experienced more personal growth and achieved far more than I could ever pay for in a university degree. I have exceeded my own expectations of what I thought I could achieve, and I have come to realise that I am more capable than I ever gave myself credit for. This new-found feeling of self-confidence and self-worth has not only given me motivation for my next chapter in life beyond the ranch, but it has increased my expectations of the goals that I can set myself. Now, my future doesn’t seem scary: it’s now very exciting.
Through my experiences at the ranch I have learned that the feeling of accomplishment is the most important that can be acquired. It is like a drug: there is a sense of euphoria every time. To achieve my goal of being the mentor guide, a goal that has been developed slowly with persistence and commitment throughout the year, makes it that more rewarding. For this, it must be amongst the most virtuous, and addictive, feelings.