Updated: Sep 1, 2020
I got stuck. I climbed up the underside of this inverted wall swiftly and hooked my arms over the top. Then... uh-oh. My toes clung to a horizontal support beam and, for a few moments, I fought gravity at an inverted 45-degree angle. I didn’t stand a chance of mounting the wall from that position.
In hindsight, I should have let my feet go from that rickety beam and dangled my legs. From a 90-degree angle, I could have used my upper-body strength to pull myself straight up and over the top of the wall. I didn’t. I was too frightened to let go of my foothold - the wooden beam that I believed was providing me with stability. Ironically, that bit of wood was not secure at all. But, that’s not the story I was telling myself. Unable to move, I dropped down to the mats below.
This made me think of other opportunities I have missed or goals I haven’t achieved because of something I was afraid to let go of. How many stories have I told myself and justified ‘in the name of security’?
“Maybe next year. It’s not the right time. I can’t leave right now. I need the income. We’re trying for a family. Soon. .”
How many times has my perceived need for safety held me back from taking a risk that might have paid off? How many times could I have climbed higher, if I had just let go first?
How many of your decisions are unwittingly rooted in fear? When you are afraid, you are unlikely to take risks. Fear is the master of disguise. It can look like security. It can look like reason. You feel the yearning to start your own business, start a family, take that bucket-list holiday, or apply for a new position - but you’ll say no because you are afraid to fail, afraid to succeed, afraid to get rejected, afraid to stir things up, or afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
What would happen if you changed your narrative? How would your life or your career be different if you allowed yourself to let go of that beam of security and took a risk? You just might be able to climb higher.