The Joy is in the Journey: 3 Lessons from Cotopaxi Ambassador Erin Sullivan

When Erin Sullivan was 19, she embarked on a month long wilderness trip in Wyoming and did not know what to expect from her expedition. However, she came out of the wilderness yearning for more outdoor experiences and challenges that inspire personal growth. Now, she is an adventure blogger, wilderness guide, Cotopaxi Ambassador, and life coach. Whether you know what you want to do or are still considering your options, Erin says the best time to start exploring is now. It’s time to believe in yourself and take control of your life choices. It’s time to welcome failure, rather than refrain from it. After reflecting on the lessons she has learned along the way, Erin has three pieces of advice to help you embrace your adventurous spirit.

#1: Find the “I” in Happiness

The majority of questions Erin gets from young people who are curious about her work are related to external rewards and the validation from others. Questions such as, “How do you afford to travel everywhere?” or “How do you gain thousands of followers on social media?” are often asked. It is more important to realize that there is more to doing what you love than the number of followers you have on social media. Your happiness is measured by how satisfied you are with yourself. Erin’s intention through her work is for women not to compare their lives to others, but to go out there and take action.

#2: Start!

The most important thing you can do is to take the first step. Maybe it is the fear of failure or not knowing where to start, but as Erin says it, “you will never know until you try.” Start small, start big, start anywhere, just do it and the momentum will build. Whatever it is you want to do, whether it is starting a blog, participating in a Cotopaxi Questival, or being a pilot, you have to go test things out. Find out what keeps you on your toes and you will always learn something new.

#3: Make Failure Your Teacher   

The fear of failing can stop people from trying something new, but as Erin said, “There is nothing you can’t repurpose.” You can never fail if you repurpose failure as an experience you can learn from. Always look forward to learning and improving yourself through trial and error.

If you can take just one step a day to apply these lessons to your own life, you will see the growth within yourself. Your adventure awaits!

Contributor: Chi Hyunh

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