The Power Of The Mind

Anxiety While On Trail

The problem, is that it might not go away. Instead, you learn how to manage it. Eventually you learn how strong you really are.

When I first delved into the world of backpacking, I always went out with my friends. Even when everyone didn’t want to hike, I would be the guy that would drag people outside. In the cold, in the heat, it didn’t matter. But I didn’t realize how much I was trying to cover up my own anxiety through that. Which made it even harder when I eventually had to start going out on my own.

For the longest time I would go out, hike for the day, tell myself I’m gonna stay out, and then end up turning right back around and go home. I would convince myself of things that I “had” to do, or I would let little fears get the best of me. Although it mostly all stemmed from being out there alone.

In our current time, society seems to be constantly running a sprint, so when you take time to slow down and be with your thoughts it can be very overwhelming. You can convince yourself of all kinds of things, and it all starts from before the time you step out the door. But what if you had never felt that anxiety in the first place? Would you still be worried?

After two LASHs, and two road trips, one of each being solo. I can say that what’s worked for me personally was realizing I was building a negative mental association with backpacking alone,  before the time I left the door I was telling myself “I’d like to stay out all night but I doubt I’ll make it”. Instead of remembering the times you’ve turned around, or the times things have gone bad, think of the good moments. The ones that stick with you and make you want to be there. This would keep me sane through the night. (That and all the movies I would download to watch at camp).

I want to tell everyone that you can do it too, you can overcome your fears or whatever is stopping you from following what you want. No matter what, you have the power to change and to become a stronger version of yourself than the day before. Dedicate yourself to what makes you happy, and what you love. If you do that then you’ll never regret your decisions.

In the last few years I feel like I’ve changed the course of my life, I feel like I’m able to pursue what I love. It’s all because I made the decision to fight my own demons and force myself into new situations. I’ve met friends that I’ll forever consider family, animals that have stolen my heart, and connections I’ll hold onto for life. It’s all the power of your own mind.



Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 3

  • James William Soares Jones : Nov 20th

    I like your your candor, and the spirit you have to push on.

    • Josh Widdowfield : Nov 20th

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate it


What Do You Think?