Fear Should Never Stop You From Living

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

Discovering who you are is a wonderful, scary, I got this, what the hell am I thinking, beautiful, wtf?, ‘ahhh haaaa’ moment… kinda process. I have gone through this process throughout my 40 (+) years many times and each time it is the same. It is never a straight line; it is always all over the place… But that is what makes it so exciting! Think of a “screw it, I’m doing it anyway” moment in life. Was it the outcome of your action or the unknown that got your heart racing? The act of pushing yourself past the “should I or shouldn’t I?” And just jumping! I remember the first time I learned to rock climb. It was the summer of ’92 and I was visiting a friend in California. I was hanging out on Dog Beach in Hunting Beach, just enjoying the day with Winter, a white German Sheppard, when a guy sat beside me with his dogs and started talking. The conversation turned to, what things are on your bucket list. When I said rock climbing his ears perked up.. “Really?!, I would be happy to teach you.” … I did not even hesitate, “oh my gosh! Yes! Please!” But, no sooner did I answer than I realized what I had done. We exchanged numbers and addresses and the next day, early in the morning he picked me up. As we drove exchanging life stories making our way to the mountains I began to think…” WTF are you doing, Ash?” “You are in a car with a man you don’t know, trusting him to take you into the mountains to teach you how to rock climb… and get you home again safe.”… ” you idiot, this is the way Americas Most Wanted starts”.. She was a nice girl, full of life and adventure……

But, by that point I had rolled into the “screw it, why not stage”

We got our gear at REI and continued out to climb. We stopped at some amazing cliffs (I know) and just sat. The view was beautiful; I can still see it as if I was sitting there now.

We eventually made it to our destination. I put my shoes on and got ready to concur the rock in front of me. We where bouldering, climbing without ropes (I know).

Ryan look at me clapped his hands and said “trust me and lets go.”

Rule number 1. Trust your feet.
“Ok” and I began to climb; falling in love with it at first move.

Rule number 2. Never look down.
From that I figured I was pretty high.
Now, here I stand on top feeling amazing, with my hands outstretched absorbing my surroundings.

After a few min I look down and ask.
“Ryan, how do I get down?”

Rule number 3. Never climb higher than you’re willing to fall.

Sounds like a life lesson doesn’t it?

When I reached the top I was untouchable! I had been battling some personal demands that summer and was not sure if I was able to handle what was ahead of me.

When I was standing on top of the rock… my life changed.

I knew if I could do this I can do anything. And honestly, I was never afraid of falling. I trusted my feet and my own strength to get me to the top of that rock without a safety net.

Just trusting myself and my abilities.

From that moment forward I never doubted myself again, and when I did, it was for a fleeting moment until I recalled that day and I never stopped climbing.

By the time we got back to La Jola I saw life a little different.

  1. I was thankful to be alive
  2. I learned that I can do pretty much anything as long as I have faith and trust in myself
  3. I have the strength and ability to take care of myself.

Looking back now, my rash decision to go off into the mountains with someone I knew for less than 24 hours and trust him with my life was, so……dumb!

Or was it?

Would I be the person I am today had I not taken that risk? Would I know my true strength had I not tossed caution to the wind and trusted my intuition? Probably not.

Please understand, I am not encouraging you to run off with a stranger and do something dangerous, but what I am encouraging you to do is, step, no, leap out of your comfort zone and find out who you are… how far you can push yourself and all that you can accomplish.

That one statement… Lesson #3. “Never climb high than your willing to fall.”

Don’t be afraid of falling. Fear is a mirage. As you become closer to something that scares you, it disappears. Think about that for a moment.

Fear of a rollercoaster…. Heart is beating fast as you wait in line…. Your palms sweat as you buckle in….your breathing races as it takes off…. And then, laughter… smiles….the feeling of crushing your fear …. And then, you find yourself back in line, ready to ride again.

The rush of overcoming your fear, combined with the excitement of the experience has overtaken your fear.

Once you came upon your fear and walked through it… it disappeared, just like a mirage.

The only limits in life are the ones we create within our mind.

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