Getting on an adventure means always taking on risks. We dare something new, something whose outcome we can hardly or cannot foresee: Will we succeed in the recipe that we have never tried before? Will my basketball team be able to beat the opposing team? Will I actually accomplish the summit that I have set for myself?
Questions like these go through our heads, mix with insecurity and adrenaline, and suddenly it’s here! The pulse of adventure – the thrill! We are wide awake, the blood pressure rises, the heart beats violently. If the situation then dissolves, an incredibly good feeling sets in the feeling of ability and success. We did something we were not sure at first if it was within our capabilities! By venturing out of the comfort zone, we have expanded that part of our conscious capacity to act. Our body rewards us by releasing the so-called happiness hormone dopamine.
The sense of achievement after climbing a new route will probably be more intoxicating than after the successful meal. But it is not that easy!
The assessment of a situation is highly individual and dependent on external factors.
For example, cooking for the in-laws the first time … for some of us, climbing a 9+ might seem like a piece of cake.
But what happens if I’m wrong in my assessment … If I can not handle the situation? Depending on the situation, the consequences of such a misjudgment can be unpleasant, embarrassing, frightening or – in the worst case – fatal.
What a dilemma! On the one hand, we have to dare and challenge ourselves in order to learn and to grow, while on the other hand we want or need to avoid overstraining. The correct assessment of the situation and my ability to cope with it is therefore enormously important!
But … how will that work if I really just know what I can do after I have done it?
In order to find the right balance, it is advisable to grow slowly – according to the principles of the easy to the heavy and from the simple to the complex. Little by little, this approach also makes it possible to do something that we had previously doubted. The disadvantage of this variant, however, that it needs a lot of time. However, we do not always have the time to prepare for difficult situations.
Another way to protect against overestimation or underestimation is to use additional safeguards. What can be literally seen during climbing, for example, could be a quick backup plan or a friend with cooking experience looking at my fingers. The beauty of these safeguards is that, at best, they are not needed and the situation can be experienced as a complete success
So the key is to shape the situation in a way that I can assess it better, and with it the skills that I demand. Consequently, it is about minimizing risks or preparing for their onset. However, there is no way getting around risks, even if one avoids the situation. A certain amount of risk is always involved, whether on the rock or in everyday life. And that’s actually a good thing!
Because without risks there is also no progress!