For most of my life I’ve dealt with fear. I still can’t watch a single scary movie..yes even the ones that are so poorly made they are comical. You name a common fear and I probably have it. You name an uncommon one and I’ll probably have that too. But the biggest fear I have is of failure.
I’ve spent a ton of time tending to the walls around my fear of failing. Everytime I would make the decision to demo I’d bust one hole in them freak out and replaster and repaint. I mean what if I make the wrong decision? Living in fear wasn’t my dream obviously and until a few years ago, it was my reality because failing, being rejected, losing wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.
Walls are only good for climbing
I’d like to say that one day I woke up fearless and open the door that had been there the whole time. But then I’d be lying. The truth is I still live with fear most of the time and there is no door.. And I have a different relationship with it now and all because I looked up.
A few years back I started rock climbing. I was fucking terrified. My palms would sweat, I’d hold my breath which you’d think my years of teaching yoga would have taught me not to do. I’d think about falling to my doom..you know all really fun stuff. However, with my harness I knew I was safe because I was hooked in and if I fell the auto belay or my husband would catch me so I didn’t give up and I got better at it.
My 10 year old is a phenomenal climber and on the youth comp team at our local gym. He loves to boulder. That’s a no harness type of climbing and what I used to call a “No Thanks.” One day he asked me to boulder with him. A potential for falling with nothing to catch me?? No way. But I also like to harp on my kids that there's nothing that can limit them not even their fear..consider my ass promptly bitten.
So I climbed..and made it up! Then I climbed another and made it up again! I was feeling pretty bad ass so I went up a third and made it one hold away from the top..and fell. The last hold was tricky I would have to essentially jump to get it and I tried and I missed and I crashed and it sucked and it was amazing!
It was in that moment I realized while there are walls all around my potential there's no ceiling above and no harness guaranteed. I realized I have to climb and fall if I want to learn and grow in whatever I am doing. Take the risk, make the jump, and if I fall then I learn and get back up and go at it again.
How long have you been looking at those walls trying to find the door? How many times have you busted, fought, clawed your way through only to hop back in and repair them? Don’t be ashamed. It’s okay. I see you and I hear you and I know what you are going through. As the Beatles lyricized “I am he as you are he as you are me and and we are all together.” We’ve all been looking at these walls and we all have something inside we want to let out. Not every route will be easy and expect to fall a lot but if you're walled up like I am, I encourage you to look up and start climbing.