- Getting ready to have my harness attached to the rope that was going to send me gliding over a small canyon with nothing but some rocks and the rushing water of a river under me; my first time ziplining.
- Exiting the shuttle that brought me up the mountain in the Swiss Alps to go canyoning, which involved traveling down the mountain through its freezing cold melting snow waters via natural waterslides, repelling, jumping off a cliff into the water, and diving under a boulder to be pulled out of the other side by our guide.
- Boarding the plane by myself to move across the country in order to start a new life in a place where I had no job and no friends.
What did all of these events have in common? In each situation, I was facing a fear. Embarking into the unknown and challenging myself in ways that I didn't even know were possible for me to successfully accomplish. Each and every time that I have faced a challenge and successfully conquered it, I have felt exhilarated, more confident, and proud of myself. It has also broken down the fears, one by one, and given me a reference point to go to when I was faced with another challenge. "Well if I could do THAT, I can do anything!" I have often thought that to myself. Now I'm NOT suggesting that you become an adrenaline junky or get involved in any dangerous activities. The point I would like you to take away from this is that when you challenge yourself and face your fears, you are able to prove to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to, one step at a time.
If you are avoiding something, feel stuck, or feel anxious, try challenging yourself. All fears can be conquered if you face them head-on. Sometimes they need to be approached a little bit at a time, and may require the support of another person, or possibly a mental health professional, but it can be done. I wouldn't recommend jumping into a snake pit if you have a fear of snakes, but think about ways in which you can overcome the fears that are challenging you and causing you to be stuck in life. The amazing thing about conquering fears and successfully completing challenging tasks is that the confidence you build and the empowered feelings you experience spill over into other areas of your life as well. You can slowly chip away at whatever is holding you back and prove to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to, which will only lead to more and more opportunities to seek, accomplish, and grow.
So make sure that the harness is tightly and safely attached to your body and the rope (be sure to prepare and think through how you are going about facing the challenge at hand), ensure that you are safe and supported (always make sure that you are being careful and thoughtful about your decisions), and jump (face that fear and take the leap)!! You won't regret it!
Sound exciting to you? Worried that you can't do it? How will you challenge yourself?