By Nadine Araksi, Toronto-based Story Coach

“Climb every mountain…”
~ Reverand Mother, The Sound of Music

Be they 23 or 63, the women we tend to know and coach are typically very intelligent women who worked hard to achieve some impressive things and tick a few of those “life boxes.” At some point along the way, they believed they wanted those experiences, but suddenly these women look around and an uncomfortable feeling sets in.

I’ve noticed a few patterns that I’ve come to see in mountain metaphors. 

  1. “I’ve been climbing this mountain for a while. Am I on the right mountain? Maybe I should be aiming for that summit over there?”
  2. “I’ve been climbing this mountain for a long time. And every time I think I’m close to the top, they keep moving the summit!
  3. “I’ve climbed this mountain. I thought the view be prettier from up here and all would be perfect once I made it, but that is not my experience.
  4. “I’ve climbed this mountain. It’s my sixth mountain. I can probably climb that one over there too. So now what?

You are not forced to scale the Alps with no equipment

It should surprise exactly no one that I grew up obsessing over the Von Trapp family’s epic musical adventures. When the grounded, wise Reverand Mother tells flibbertigibbet Fraulein Maria to climb every mountain in The Sound of Music, it’s a reminder that searching for your dream isn’t linear. Like the fraulein, you’re allowed to take a meandering path or change your mind. And it while you might be a terrible governess or a flawed nun because you want to marry your boss, it doesn’t make you unworthy of a new dream.

Mountain metaphor problems exist for a number of reasons. How did you end up on that mountain? Was it even something you really wanted? Or did society and musicals convince you to go upwards to begin with?

Why reaching for the top doesn’t always feel good

In the metaphors above you might feel: 1. Self-doubt and indecision, 2. Exhaustion and frustration, 3. Disappointment due to entitlement or unrealistic expectations, 4. Boredom and resentment. None of these feel good and if any of the above sounded familiar, then the road to the top is paved with “shoulds,” AKA other people’s expectations.

Climbing or striving for the sole sake of reaching some mythical top or end doesn’t work. Growth and abundance are found along the path; the thin-aired top is merely a place to plant a flag and snap a pic before the descent and planning the next trip.

Love can move mountains

Like mountain climbing, reaching your dreams takes preparation, the right tools and guides so you can do more than survive, you can thrive! If you’re ready for expert support and guidance as you determine what’s next, meet us at basecamp. Don’t miss Reset Lab, our free intro program.

Join us to learn how our simple, five-step Alignment Framework can move things from the “hustle harder, do more” grind our culture seems to insist upon, to a lighter, attainable and more consistent approach to getting you where you want to go.

– Nadine


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