Sir Edmund Hillary On Overcoming Fear

By | 2018-11-14T16:50:00+00:00 November 14th, 2018|WDTMBT|0 Comments

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. – Sir Edmund Hillary

What’s it about?

It’s easy to get lost in the literalism of this quote, but it’s not actual mountains we’re talking about here. No, the mountain is just a metaphor for challenge. Hillary is saying that not only is it good for us to take on challenges, but necessary if we want to grow. You can achieve incredible growth if you take on a challenge you’re not sure you are even up for. You don’t have to climb a literal mountain, you just have to find something that to you seems immensely difficult. However –  if you have climbed a literal mountain, that is amazing!

Anyway, by attempting this difficult task and hopefully succeeding at it, you haven’t just overcome the task but also your former self who believed that you couldn’t do it. You’re ready to move on to bigger and harder challenges. It’s a lesson in Overcoming Fear, Self-Mastery, and Growth.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s Story

Sir Edmund Hillary, in case you weren’t aware, was the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest,  so he knows a thing or two about mountains. Strangely enough though, on the 1953 expedition that finally summited the mountain, Hillary was actually the second choice to go up. He was 33 at the time and an experienced climber from training in the snowy peaks of his New Zealand homeland. In particular, he made a name for himself by leading the British climbers through a particularly dangerous slope early in the expedition. So when the first team was forced to turn back by bad weather and low oxygen, Hillary – along with his sherpa Tenzing Norgay – were the logical second choice. Starting earlier and from a higher camp than the first team, Hillary and Tenzing were blocked by a rocky spur. Undaunted, Hillary carved out a step to finally reach the summit. It’s called the Hillary Step and is still there near the Southern Summit of Everest. He and Tenzing were already famous before they’d even climbed off the mountain (1).


Tips and Tools

Standing at the foot of that mountain, real or metaphorical, can make you feel lacking in confidence. It’s so big, do you have the strength and resilience to summit it? Yes! If you’re ambitious enough to try climbing, then you’re ambitious enough to be successful. But if you start doubting yourself, here’s a few things you can try (2):


  • Take a long look at your life. Would you recommend it to someone? If not, it’s within your ability to change that. With a little ambition, you can steer your life in a more fulfilling direction.


  • Keep your eyes on the goal. You think Hillary didn’t think climbing Everest was risky? But he went on anyway. You can too. Remember, most of the fear is in your head. Stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve to take your mind off the fear.
  • Seek new perspectives. Something that may seem impossible from one angle can appear stunningly easy from another. Try looking at challenges and difficulties as many different ways as you can. A solution can present itself.
  • Act, don’t wait too long. There’s no time like the present. If you wait for the “Perfect moment” to do something, you could miss out on great opportunities. Never wait to start working.
  • Share your ambitions. One reason Hillary could reach the top was that he had Tenzing supporting him because Tenzing was just as eager to reach it as Hillary. Find others who share your goals and ambitions, derive support from them when you starting doubting yourself.
  • Find the bright side. Reappraise events and actions in your life. Try to find the positive side effects of things that seemed bad at the time. Anything that seems bad usually has an upside. Master yourself and take advantage of that upside. (3)
  • Prepare. Ultimately, your ability to overcome obstacles is predicated on your preparedness. So do your research as well as training to set you up for success.



At the top of that mountain is a better, more confident and resilient you. Find accomplishment in difficult tasks. You can only know your limitations if you test them and if you can overcome them, then they aren’t limitations, are they?

Some action questions to consider:


1: Hillary had Everest, what is the most difficult challenge in your life?


2: Have you felt the pleasurable feeling of success before? Compete against your friends in games (sports, multiplayer video games, etc.) and see if you can’t trigger it.


3: Hillary had his sherpa Tenzing to help him reach the summit, do you have any help reaching your goal? Don’t be afraid to ask those around for advice on achieving it.


Enjoyed the article? Subscribe to our podcast!

Leave A Comment

000-017   000-080   000-089   000-104   000-105   000-106   070-461   100-101   100-105  , 100-105  , 101   101-400   102-400   1V0-601   1Y0-201   1Z0-051   1Z0-060   1Z0-061   1Z0-144   1z0-434   1Z0-803   1Z0-804   1z0-808   200-101   200-120   200-125  , 200-125  , 200-310   200-355   210-060   210-065   210-260   220-801   220-802   220-901   220-902   2V0-620   2V0-621   2V0-621D   300-070   300-075   300-101   300-115   300-135   3002   300-206   300-208   300-209   300-320   350-001   350-018   350-029   350-030   350-050   350-060   350-080   352-001   400-051   400-101   400-201   500-260   640-692   640-911   640-916   642-732   642-999   700-501   70-177   70-178   70-243   70-246   70-270   70-346   70-347   70-410   70-411   70-412   70-413   70-417   70-461   70-462   70-463   70-480   70-483   70-486   70-487   70-488   70-532   70-533   70-534   70-980   74-678   810-403   9A0-385   9L0-012   9L0-066   ADM-201   AWS-SYSOPS   C_TFIN52_66   c2010-652   c2010-657   CAP   CAS-002   CCA-500   CISM   CISSP   CRISC   EX200   EX300   HP0-S42   ICBB   ICGB   ITILFND   JK0-022   JN0-102   JN0-360   LX0-103   LX0-104   M70-101   MB2-704   MB2-707   MB5-705   MB6-703   N10-006   NS0-157   NSE4   OG0-091   OG0-093   PEGACPBA71V1   PMP   PR000041   SSCP   SY0-401   VCP550