I remember participating in a ropes course with some of my sports psychology colleagues from California. One of the challenges was to climb this 80-foot tall oak (I’m afraid of heights, so anything over 10 feet is 80 to me).
The tree had these huge staples in them so that I could grip and step on to get up the side of the tree. I got myself belayed in and about half way up, I began to get tired but since everybody made it to the top I continued. I climbed until I reached this wooden platform, and swung myself on top of it. Now here is the scary part. About 8 feet out in the air at eye level is a metal bar. The task? To jump out and grab that bar.
Too late, I already looked down.
My legs were shaking so furiously that I’m surprised I didn’t tear my ACL.
What a good chance to practice my breathing to help my heart rate. No matter how much I breathed, I was just too frightened. I stepped to the edge of that wooden platform shaking while hearing my friends below shouting, “Just Jump!”
I thought about climbing back down the tree but couldn’t move (shaking too much).
Isn’t that what faith actually does? It shows you something that you know you can do (climb the side of the tree), but eventually leads you to an edge where you are afraid to do what comes next.
You want me to do what?!
Every person has a vision of what they would like to be, whether it’s an elite athlete or straight ‘A’ student. The moment you hold that image in your mind it always feels so good. But when you look out, you see the hardships and mundane things that you have to do in order to achieve that. And there’s always this fear that you’ll miss out on something if you chase this one thing. You have to decide if you’re willing to pay that price. You’re standing on the edge.
Maybe you’re not close to looking like what you see and you’re afraid of trying because then everyone else will know too. Maybe it’s more work than you’ve ever done before and that is frightening. Maybe you tell yourself that you don’t know where to begin and that makes you procrastinate.
There is only one thing you can do when you are in a frightened place. JUMP.
Why? Because you won’t be able to stop feeling the anxiety because YOU ARE afraid. Stop trying to get yourself to feel good about it because you won’t. Trust that your friends will always encourage you…And JUMP! #PushForward
When I was up in that tree, I jumped. And guess what, it was only after I jumped that my anxiety left.