Years ago, I worked at a summer program that had a full day of ropes courses. They did an amazing job setting this up for safety, but also life transformation. Many of the participants did not believe that they could do the events. As they completed them, at whatever level they could, the program helped translate the ropes course to their life breakthroughs.
These were a mix of low and high ropes. The high ones would involve things climbing an 80 foot tree and going across a tightrope. The low ones would involve your team keeping you from hitting the ground. Both were challenging and powerful in different ways.
Fast forward to today, as I was working through some challenging things that brought up all sorts of fears. My brain was doing it’s job to keep me “safe” and out of danger, replaying previous mistakes and the results. It’s not particularly helpful when you are doing something new, and when the brain signals it’s fear time, our bodies react to that – even if it’s not a real thing.
Okay, rewind back to the past (if this was a movie, it would need a great editor). One of my roles at the ropes course was to “set up” trust falls. These specific ones involved climbing 6-8’ high – your feet are far from the ground, facing away from your team, and falling with a straight body, back to be caught. As you might imagine, teams of teens have a lot going on. Getting them to focus and be ready to catch safely is a big deal.
Being the largest and heaviest, setting it up, and going first to show them how to do it was also scary, if I’m being honest. My mind told me, there’s a good chance you would be dropped or hurt.
For whatever reason, I just decided that would never happen.
You know what? It never did.
Now, I did feel fear from time to time, and I let myself feel that fear – and still take the next step.
You see, fear isn’t always telling us to stop – it’s telling us we are about to grow and are actually doing the right thing.
Fall On Chris
Think of a time when you remember yourself being really brave – no matter how big or small it was. Try to remember why you took those actions. For many of us, it just came to a decision and acting on it, despite the circumstances.
Look at something in your life that scares you. We all have them – it means you have a pulse.
Imagine yourself, using the same energy when you were brave, taking action. What different decision would you be making right now to get there?
Take a deep breath, or three.
Now write the decision down. Put it in your phone’s calendar 3x a day and read it to yourself every time you see it.
When you are ready, take action on that decision. It’s okay to feel the fear, and still take the next step.
You won’t hit the ground, and you will be caught.
Know that your spotters are ready, even if you don’t see them.