Seeing Through Mind-Fog
September 30, 2021

Ben Nevis

When I looked up at Ben Nevis, I could see tiny specks moving diagonally upwards. These were intrepid hikers making their way to the peak.

From my vantage point I could also see a swirling cloud obscuring part of the mountain. Soon, these walkers would head into the damp, misty cloud, and it would conceal their view. Then, they would need to put on their raincoats and turn their eyes downwards to slowly make their way up the slippery rocky path.

We were on holiday in the Highlands and I found myself often entranced with the clouds, moving like smoke across the mountains. There was a beauty and mystery to the veiling and unveiling of the peaks and ridges.

Much of this vast, ancient scenery is unspoiled by man. These mountains are unchanged. Generations before me would recognise the same landscape. There was something solid and ageless about what I was witnessing.

The mountains and clouds also reminded me of the swirling thoughts and insecurities that can sometimes whirl into my world. One moment I am in a space of calm and resoluteness; I can see the path ahead and I feel reassured and confident. Then at other times I feel insecure and self-doubting. I distrust my abilities, skills and direction of travel; I start to question myself and others.

My feelings move from assured to unstable when the clouds rush in. In these moments, although nothing has fundamentally changed (the mountain is always there), it feels as though I have lost my confidence and lost my way.

The beauty of the track on Ben Nevis is that it is a defined and clear path. It might at times be steep and tricky, but if you trust the path and put one foot in front of the other you will get to the top.

Finding your way in life can sometimes feel like hiking up a mountain. As the fog of insecurity takes over, you can over-react and feel fear. It’s good to realise that whilst the fog can obscure your view, it doesn’t stop you from making your way.

All you need to do in life is take the next step. One step at a time. You might need to put on your metaphorical raincoat, and you might need to slow down and watch your footing, but keep on walking.

Just keep taking each step, however small, and you will find your way along the path.

Happy hiking!

1 Comment

  1. Peter Hirst

    Beautiful though I’ve never climbed Ben Nevis. Another aspect is the awe of being that tiny speck connected to and a part of nature. You are at the whim of nature and dependent on it. The weather can change in an instant and yet there is something that remains, partly the exercise and challenge and partly the feeling of being at one with everything within your senses.

    Reply

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Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are trainers, coaches and speakers. They work with individuals and groups across the UK. They also help develop coaching cultures (founded on wellbeing) within schools and organisations.

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