Today was a really awesome day! I got to speak at a tech conference for the company I work for and got to visit Snowbird Resort in Utah. Both involved situations where I had to leap into my fears.
I am afraid of public speaking. It terrifies me and my heart rate rapidly increases every time before I have to get up and talk. But I love to do it and I feel like I grow each and every time I do it as I try to captivate and entertain my audience. Today, I got to give an IGNITE presentation for 5 minutes about Larry Bird and it went really well.
Second of all, while at Snowbird resort, there was a tower where you get put in a harness and jump off the tower. It’s about 30 feet high and it was quite the facing fears experience for me. As I was next in line, my heart began to pound and I felt nervous.
Still even while I felt that way, I moved forward to the woman who would open the gate for me to jump off of. I went to her and she grabbed the hook that will catch my fall. She hooked it into my harness. She then opened a gate at the top of the tower which makes it possible to leap off the edge. It was an intriguing experience having her open the gate, telling me to jump off.
Everything in my body said, “Do not do that.” Yet, I knew that I would be OK if I did it, but my whole body was nervous and tense about it. Yet, I found, that even while I was nervous, tense, and afraid, that I still had the capacity to exercise courage and jump off the edge. Which I did after about a second of waiting. I can’t describe the feeling… It was like putting my whole body into my fear and risking it all. And it was terrifying.
As I jumped and started to fall, I let out a loud growl, and then shortly thereafter, the harness system slowed my fall and lowered me to the ground. It was quite an unsettling feeling, free falling to the ground. But I did it… and it felt great to take that leap of faith and overcome that fear. I took a leap of faith in amicably divorcing Heidi and moving out on my own. And the guts it took to do that were just as necessary as it took to leap off this tower.
Were I to go to that tower again, it wouldn’t be as hard to take the leap. I may even be able to keep my eyes open and be able to process and experience more and more of the fall while it is happening. Were I to do it 100 times, I could probably feel just as calm jumping off as I do right now sitting in the comfort of my own chair. And I believe this is the value of facing our fears over and over again. You begin to master the fear and it becomes as easy as doing something you are already comfortable with.
Your quest: Go face a fear while you are afraid. Some good ones are: Talking to women/men you find attractive or interesting, giving a public speaking presentation, going on a roller coaster, or wearing a harness and jumping off a tower. You have it within you to do any of these while you feel afraid. Now go out there and do it!
- Expressing and Feeling Emotions as Men
- Introducing Ellie
- The Pedestal Effect
- The Dance With Fear
- Surfacing Childhood Wounds