I was born with a fear of heights (acrophobia). I’ve worked very hard to conquer my fear; however, even rationale and hard work don’t make me want to scale things without a net or a harness.
Several years ago, I came face-to-face with my fear during an adventure race. I was one of a three-person team as we ran, rafted and mountain-biked through the Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia. Part of the race involved mystery events, one of which was a tall, wooden wall with ropes hanging down the front. The object was to get the entire team to the top of the wall using only each other and the ropes.
As we raced toward the wall, I was aware of two things: 1) I was terrified. 2) I needed to conquer my fear for my team to continue. Rather than hesitating and giving my fear time to take over, I ran right up to the wall with my team and went to work.
The feeling I had at the top of the wall was so much stronger than the initial fear I felt at the bottom. I can’t even fathom how much regret and disappointment I would have felt had I let my fear beat me, and us.
We all hit walls sometimes. We reach a moment or a point in an endeavor where we’re faced with fear, lack of confidence, or simply the fact that we don’t know what to expect on the other side.
It’s so easy to let the wall win and stay within your comfort zone, but do you really want to be the person standing at the bottom of the wall while others continue on with the race? I doubt it.
The next time you find yourself up against a wall, make the decision to test yourself. Tell your body and your mind that you want to feel the pride and the rush that come with finding out what’s on the other side of that wall. Once you get over that first wall, the rest will fall like dominoes and you’ll find yourself in a position for winning the race against all the obstacles that have been holding you back.
The next time you’re faced with uncharted territory, climb the wall.