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Going Knowingly into the Unknown - 2020


The phrase Going Knowingly into the Unknown™ is the strap-line of our Adventure Psychology business. Similar to the Scout motto: Be Prepared, or the Parachute Training school’s motto: Knowledge Dispels Fear, it means to always be in a state of readiness in mind and body for what the future can bring.


(By the way, we also like the RAF motto – Through Adversity to the Stars – which maybe a subject for another article - because THRIVING despite uncertainty and challenge is what Adventure Psychology is all about).


The word ‘Adventure’ comprises ‘advent’: about to happen, and ‘venture’: a challenging undertaking, so what we are delivering with Adventure Psychology is the ability to create and enhance the most beneficial mindset to cope with future challenge, change and uncertainty.

Assuming there is likely to be challenge ahead in our lives – almost inevitably – then surely it is better for us to be prepared, to go knowingly into the unknown, dispelling fear or any other inhibiting emotions. You cannot predict the future but you can prepare for it.

You can't predict the future but you can prepare for it.

The concept Going Knowingly into the Unknown was born out of our academic research into why adventurers adventure, studying why people choose to go on adventures and expeditions. What is the purpose? What are the benefits? The full research as published in the Psychology for Sport and Exercise journal can be found here.


The study found that despite some assumptions that adventurers exhibit risky, thrill-seeking, death-defying behaviours, they actually comprehensively appraise the risks involved in their future expeditions, preparing as best as possible before they embark on their challenge to maximise success. Adventurers get fit for physical toughness; research territory and routes, climate and weather; up-skill specific techniques; obtain the right kit; and psychologically anticipate their journey to enable them to cope and thrive. All this pre-departure preparation enables them to adapt in context, under pressure. Survival of the fittest is in fact, survival of those best equipped. The more we can be psychologically prepared and resilient, the more free our minds will be when we are in the thick of the action, and thus less stressed and more able. Anticipatory thinking goes a long way to equip us to thrive in challenging, uncertain and fluid conditions.

Performing in context and under pressure.

So adventurers prepare before an expedition, and go knowingly into the unknown. However do we do this enough in business and in life? Do we invest in our own mental and physical preparation so that we are always in a state of readiness? 


When Paula Reid – founder of Adventure Psychology skied to the South Pole in 2014-15, she undertook 10 months of intense preparation so that when she landed in Antarctica, she was so ready she was itching to start. She went knowingly into the unknown, preparing herself to the extent that despite the potential 31 risks and fears she analysed, she was as ready as she could be to rise to the challenge (and through adversity reach the stars).


So, how will you go knowingly into 2020?


What are you doing physically and psychologically to be prepared?


Is your business as ready as it can be to adapt, cope and thrive in all the future challenges, changes and uncertainties that this year will inevitably present us with?


What can you do to be more ready?


Adventure Psychology can help you go knowingly into the unknown. Get in touch to talk.

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