(from my Walking Zombie blog on WorkingMother.com)
Yesterday my family went zip lining at Calloway Gardens in the Georgia Mountains. We strapped on our gear, headed into the trees and zealously moved from one obstacle to the other. Two hours in we were still going strong until I realized we were close to the end of the main zip line course and about to enter the Lake course. Out of nowhere I started to sweat really bad- my hands were slipping from the lines, my t-shirt sticking to my chest and my heart beating faster and faster. Having done this very same course last year, I knew what was coming…the tree. As hard as I tried I couldn’t shake this horrible fear.
The lake course has three exhilarating zip lines. That- I wanted to do! But to get to the second one you must climb an eighty foot tree via a wooden rope ladder. Last year it took everything in my being to get up that ladder. This year, I knew what was coming. I had done it before but this was the first time our whole family was zip lining this course together and Noah’s first time at all! Dave was leading from the front and I was following up from the back. This had worked all day until we got closer and closer to the tree.
Ending the main course we walked over to the Lake. Shaking, I climbed up the first ladder, telling myself, “I can do this, I can do this!” but the reality is I had already talked myself out of it- I was terrified. How was I going to watch my two children climb an eighty foot ladder, step onto a platform high into the tree tops (and the size of my kitchen mat), and not pass out? Standing at the top of a smaller platform, I stared at the tree…taking it in, I told myself, “You’ve done this before, it’s no big deal, just climb the ladder, step onto the platform and zip over the lake!”
Then I looked down to see an employee and suddenly, I had my out! “Can I pay you to please follow my kids? I won’t let them go without someone behind them and honestly I don’t want to do it!” He offered to go, no charge and I was out- free from the torture of climbing the ladder up the tree. Someone would head up the front and back, ensuring my kids were safe but it wouldn’t be me. I was so relieved I wanted to cry. He went up and I went down…my family continued on.
I sat on a bench and watched from afar. As I saw my eight and ten year old children climb the tree I realized I had failed them. I let fear, false evidence appearing real, steal my confidence and in turn my joy. My fear would keep me from the feeling of accomplishment and adrenaline my family would feel- instead, I would be defeated. The truth is, I had done this before, had fun, and challenged myself in a huge way. The only thing different this year is I let fear get the best of me.
How many times have you let fear get the best of you? Perhaps you had the opportunity to take a promotion and out of fear, declined and missed the opportunity of a lifetime. Maybe you were offered a job oversees but declined due to your fear of the unknown or you wanted to launch a new business but changed your mind for fear of failure. Fear is very real and as I learned yesterday, it can steal your girl in a nanosecond. That girl who stops at nothing to get what she wants, who is bold, confident and full of hope. Looking back on my experience I realize that yesterday, fear won. The next time we battle, I will win. What about you?