If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or you know me personally you’ll know that I am not what you might call a “shrinking violet”. I am not someone that accepts things as they are, I am always questioning, always looking to improve and always making amazing new connections.
To me this life is to be filled with amazing memories, amazing people and fear…the kind that forces you to push your way through it to become a stronger, more confident and happy individual.
You may or may not know that I am deathly afraid of heights, but I also LOVE zip lining. I know, I know, it’s a contradiction…so what do I do? Well, what I have realized is that in order for me to do what I love, I have to push through a fear that has been with me for my whole life. It is a fear that is deep rooted, and I am not sure I can even tell you where it came from or when I first started feeling that way. All I know is that when I am up high, I start to feel clammy, my breathing changes and I freak out if my kids go too near the edge.
I first tried zip lining 10 years ago, and fell in love with it then. I’m not sure if I even thought about what I was going to have to do, all I know is that once I was up there, flying down the line with the breeze hitting my face, it was too late to turn back.
So why am I telling you this…well, the point really is this: We all have fears, we all have things that hold us back in life, but we don’t have to let those fears take hold. I set aside my fear of heights so I could do something that meant more to me than the fear that might cause me to not do it could.
Here’s where I think breaking through that fear worked for me…I wanted to try something new, I had a bunch of people with me that were doing it (including little kids), and here’s the clincher, I didn’t let my brain tell me not to do it. Have you ever noticed that when you want to do something that might be scary or dangerous, you get thoughts about all the crazy things that MIGHT happen if you do it? You get thoughts of how everything could go wrong – in fact you can even start to visualize it all. Here’s the think – our brain (or mind as some think of it) is trying to protect us – to keep us safe and cozy in our comfort zone. Our comfort zone is the thing that completely stops us from growing and being who we are destined to be.
It’s not that I think by zip lining I am now going to be this amazing adventure athlete, but what it represented to me was that I can control what my mind thinks. I can decide if I do or do not do something. ME – I am the one in control…
It actually fuels my fire. It drives me to want to be better. To do something every day that scares me…so that when the big things come along, they don’t actually feel that big.
What do you say? Are you with me?