Yesterday, I stood looking up a vertical rock face, and took a large gulp. There was just no way that I was going to be able to shimmy my way up there, even though I had the professional and highly trained standing alongside me to direct my moves and stop me falling. It was just. too. plain. scary. For a fleeting moment I wanted to run away, pretend I suddenly had a very important phone call to make (no phone signal), or just jump into the nearby stream (not ideal, very chilly). But then, as I tightened my harness, I realised that, this was just fear. My fear. And that fear, was just in me.
So the only one who was going to be able to deal with it – was myself.
With every movement, every new hand grip and pull up, I felt stronger. A sense I could do this, that I wasn’t going to give up, even if I only made it six inches off the ground. I didn’t reach the very top this time, but I went further than I thought I could go, and the feeling of conquering that fear felt twice as high as the rock face in front of me. Since then, I have felt that fear doesn’t have to be the thing that constricts us in life – because if it does, if we let it, we end up not doing what we want to do, only because of ourselves. Whatever challenge is ahead of you, the feeling you will experience of not facing it, is far worse than however little progress you do make, or however much you do fail. In some ways, fear is the negative side of our personality telling us we just can’t do it, when our real inner selves is the one that says “I’m going to darn well see if you’re right for myself”. The problem with the negative side of us, is that it is also the naïve part too. It is making a blind assertion, and only if we actually face our fears, will we ever know.
Whatever is ahead of you, and whatever you are afraid of – don’t be. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a champion, but it does matter if you never get to really see what exciting things are awaiting you in life, because you didn’t take a chance. Know you can, you are, and you will be fearless.
Featured image via author.