The Climb

in confident, by Anne

This was the climb of our life. Last year my family and I went to Paris for 3 weeks. We stayed in a beautiful little house in the middle of Paris. An added bonus was that it – surprisingly – came with a nice little garden.  My husband was working at the Sorbonne while we were there but we took time off to visit the sites too.

We went to a beautiful garden in the middle of the city and noticed that there was a quaint little tower at the very top of a high hill (picture below). At first glance the hill seemed extremely rocky and impossibly unreachable. We weren’t even considering getting to the tower until we noticed that there were some people there. We couldn’t see them very well because they were tiny and very far away. However, on careful inspection, we realised that yes, there were bodies moving around up there and yes, they were real. 


But how did they get up there? Surely the climb was impossible and there were no bridges or ridges or anything to get up there!

On ground level we circled the vicinity of the tower and noticed something that looked like a bridge (picture below). But how did you get from where we were – ground level – to that bridge which seems like a hundred yards above our heads!


We walked around some more and realised that there was a road – and another bridge (on the opposite side of the park to where we were) that led up to the second bridge which seemed to lead up to the tower somehow. By now we’d already walked about half an hour looking for something we didn’t know we wanted to find; trying to get to a place we didn’t even know we wanted to be.  We – and the kids (below) realised that it would take at least another half hour to get to the tower, but since we’d already started on our journey we committed to it.


It was a warm day and it seemed to be a walk in futility. There weren’t many people heading our way (as you can see by the absence of others in all the pictures), but we kept going because we wanted to see where this was heading. The path wasn’t clear because by the time we got to the middle point (we guessed) we could no longer see the tower nor the path we were originally on. There were large trees on either side of the path we were now on (picture below), but we followed it nevertheless.


Finally we came to a point where there was a fork in the road (picture below). We honestly had no idea which one we should take. We randomly decided to go right. The climb continued.


Finally we reached the tower. You can see the kids in the picture below. My son, exhausted from his walk, sat down straight away. It was then we realised that (when we looked below from where we’d come) both forks led to the tower.


It had taken us more than an hour to get from seeing the hard impossible cliffs of this:


To seeing the beautiful, soft sights of the image below (view from the tower). However, we’d made it because we stuck with it. Even the kids (though tired) were intrigued  to see where the path would lead and what the tower would look like from the inside. Now people on the original road in the park below were seeing tiny versions of us walking around inside the tower. We wondered if they were also thinking if we were real and how on earth we’d gotten up there. That little black dot under the pink tree in the middle of the picture below is someone who might have been thinking that very thought.


 I learned some very important lessons  from this trip:

Sometimes you don’t even know where you want to be until you get close enough to notice it.

Application:  embrace new experiences.

Sometimes the path to self-discovery and self confidence is not as clear cut as we’d like. The path could be hidden on the opposite side of where we are right now.

Application: never stop searching.

Sometimes we lose sight of our focus in the middle of our ‘journey’ because of various trees (life experiences) blocking the path from view.

Application: keep going/building, the  focus will become clear again.

Forks will appear in your path. You’ll have to make decisions – sometimes snap decisions based on gut feelings.

Application: don’t put off making decisions even when they seem difficult. Trust your instinct.

Sometimes the path you take to building self confidence doesn’t matter. Things may be slightly different depending on which path you’re on. Your surroundings may seem varied and experiences on the road you’ve taken may look different on the surface. What matters is that you’ve taken a path and stuck to it. The destination is the same.



35 Responses to “The Climb”

  1. Cheryl says:

    This is inspiring. I love it. We all have to choose whether we will climb the hill.

  2. John from maigrir says:

    “Sometimes you don’t even know where you want to be until you get close enough to notice it.” I totaly agree with you one that. We would love to cimb everyday toward our vision.

    Love and Inspiration to you Anne

    • Anne says:

      Thank you, John. I’m glad that statement hit a chord with you. I don’t think I’d ever thought of it that way until I was writing this post.

  3. Linda Bradshaw says:

    When I first started reading this post, I wasn’t sure that I was going to want to keep reading on to the end. After all, I haven’t done much walking or climbing in years because of my bad knees. I didn’t realize that by continuing to read the narrative, that eventually it would lead to an inspirational message at the end. I’m glad I read it.
    Good post.
    Linda Bradshaw recently posted..Surprise find at the storeMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      I’m glad you kept on reading, Linda. It was meant to be an inspirational post, but I had to tell the full story first, in order for it to make any sense. 🙂

    • Anne says:

      BTW, I read your post about the tie dye shop and was going to leave a comment, but you seem to have to log in before you can comment on your blog. Sadly, I can’t log into because of a problem I had in the past with a blog I used to write for.

  4. Pramod says:

    Hi Anne !
    You extracted some great thoughts through this experience of yours.We know our goals very well and to achieve them there are N possible ways/paths must make sure that you are on the path not around it to be in the race and achieve your goals.

    Pramod recently posted..LG Optimus G Pro versus HTC Butterfly SMy Profile

  5. Hiten says:

    Hi Anne,

    This was a wondeful post and it seems like you and the family went on one great adventure! I loved the way you used the photos in your post.

    I can definitely appreciate the point you made embracing new experiences as sometimes we don’t even know where we want to be until we are close enough. This is so true. At times we can put a lot of effort into planning and setting goals to help increase our confidence. However, there are also times when we haven’t actually planned to do something, yet when we do, it can benefit us greatly,

    Thank you.
    Hiten recently posted..How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs about Your CommunicationMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Hello Hiten. Great to see you again. You’re so right. Sometimes the best (and most fun) triumphs are those we did not expect to see happening – the ones we did not plan.

  6. I love this post Anne. What resonated with me the most was when you stated “Sometimes you don’t even know where you want to be until you get close enough to notice it.”

    This is soooo true! That’s why I always tell people to expose themselves to new environments so that you give yourself the opportunity to dream big. When you spend your life inside a closed box, you’re limited to where you can go because you only see what’s in front of you.

    GREAT STUFF ANNE! Look like you and the fam really enjoyed your trip! I’ve never been to Paris… maybe that will be our next stop!
    Maurice Lindsay recently posted..What is The Purpose of Life?My Profile

    • Anne says:

      Hi Maurice, Yes. You’re right. New experiences and new environments are crucial to building self confidence. We can’t exist in our comfort zone alone and expect to come out stronger. It never happens that way.

      Yes, we did enjoy the trip. Paris is lovely, but don’t go to visit the Eiffel tower in April. It’s a 3 hour wait in the line. 🙂

  7. Very inspiring post. If you can be successful at one climb of your life. Then you can follow the same steps to be successful at anything else.
    Mandeep Singh recently posted..How to Attract 1000 New Visitors to Your BlogMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for your input, Mandeep. I appreciate it. And welcome to How to Build Confidence. I hope you can stop by and see us again.

      Yes, one can use the same blueprints of past success to show them how to be successful again.

  8. Robi says:

    Thanks for sharing this story.

    Climbing can be a life-changing experience, the pathways we took is not always straight. For me what i treasure the most is the journey and the hard work we put to achieve the top.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Robi. You’re absolutely spot on. A lot of times the journey is more important than the destination. It’s what we learn during the climb that’s important.

  9. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story Anne! Gosh it’s been a long time since my last trip to France but you certainly brought back some lovely memories. I also agree with the point about the value of the journey. I’m a big believer in celebrating even small successes because each victory brings us that much closer to our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). As always, thanks for the inspiration!
    marquita herald recently posted..Only You Are in Charge of Your RealityMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your input, Marty. Welcome back. Yes, we do have to celebrate small successes. These are the very things that make the journey so enjoyable and worthy of the teaching it gives us. Small successes are building blocks to larger ones.

  10. sally brown says:

    Hi Anne,

    I so love this article, the pictures and the lessons you were able to apply to life itself. As I was reading this, I thought of how sometimes we choose different paths and may lose our way, but we can always re-evaluate where we desire to go. Also, you and your family preserved in your climb and didn’t give up. When we begin towards a goal, it is important to not give up. Thanks so much for sharing not only your trip and excursion, but your wisdom as well. Sally

    • Anne says:

      Thank you Sally. And thanks for pointing out that we need perseverance in order to finish the climb. Never give up, even when it starts to hurt a little.

  11. Sarah says:

    Wow anne 🙂 this is so much similar to one of my experiences! Back in Southern parts of India, when i went on a small vacation with my kids to Kodaikanal ( you can google it see amazing place ) we found a similar place like that. I was like a temple. At first we thought it was haunted cos there were two body figures moving about and i was scared. But my kids forced me and it took us like about 2 1/2 hrs to reach that place. To my surprise there were two Scarecrow like manikins which were very scary. You know sometimes too much confidence may lead you to ghosts :p. I am just kidding 😉 But still it was a memorable experience. Nice post.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Sarah, I love your story. Thanks for sharing it with us. The manikins seem a strange addition. I wonder why they were there.

  12. Sarah says:

    they were really old. and i am pretty sure that the place was haunted !
    please keep me posted if you share again 🙂

  13. Ian says:

    Essentially there are only two climbs in life we can take, the easy climb, or the ultimate climb! Which one are you taking now?

  14. Thanks so much for the article. Inspiring. I had a similar experience when walking in the Lake District in the UK last year. I don’t like heights, and felt extremely uncomfortable when scrambling up a steep path to a small peak. On reaching the top, my fears were put into fierce perspective when we saw the simple engraved slate monument, put up to commemorate the young men of the surrounding area who failed to return from WW1 in 1918. And I was worried about slipping!

  15. This is such a nice thing. Traveling together with family is one of the best and wonderful pastime in the world.
    Valarie L. Davis recently posted..Neymar SigningMy Profile

  16. Betty says:

    Nice experience, keeping a beautiful memories from a trip is something wonderful. You still remember it all your life. Thanks for sharing you own experience.
    Betty recently posted..AskMenMy Profile

  17. I so love this article, the pictures and the lessons you were able to apply to life itself. As I was reading this,

  18. techiwebi says:

    Hi, Anne
    Its a great experience and thanks for sharing us ,i am also ready to enjoy such type of adventure because i never feel this, but it is true that we never stop searching if there is something new or different than we must do some search on it.

  19. I so love this article, the pictures and the lessons you were able to apply to life itself. As I was reading this,

  20. vizyontech says:

    This is such a nice thing.

  21. bharat says:

    excellent article,,,,,visited frequently to read such knowledgeable articles. keep writing.
    bharat recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

  22. Meenu says:

    Very informative, Thanks for sharing…. I will visit again to check on some more articles
    Meenu recently posted..GMAT CUT OFF FOR IIMMy Profile

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