I learned a lot about what it means to “feel the fear and doing it anyway” back in the day when I was a minister and also a rock climber….
I took a couple of Junior High boys out for a special rappelling adventure. I rigged the gear at the top of the cliff. Helped the first boy get into his harness. Double and triple checked all the safety checks. Then instructed the boy how to inch out to the edge of the cliff and begin to lower himself down – with the back up of course of my safety belay rope securely attached to him.
Feel the fear
He got to the edge… and began to ask questions. Have you ever seen a rope break? What if the rope isn’t long enough and I fly off the end? Have you known anyone who has died rock climbing? What if my hands slip? What if the carabiner comes loose? and on… and on… and on…
He asked so many questions that he psyched himself out and never rappelled.
Then I helped the second boy get his harness on. Double and triple checked all the safety checks. Instructed him how to inch out to the edge of the cliff and begin to lower himself down.
Then the questions began… Have you ever seen a rope break? Have you known anyone who has died rock climbing? What if my feet slip?
Then the questions stopped… And he rappelled.
He said it was the coolest thing he had ever done.
When we’re facing something new. Facing something scary. Questions are only natural. But when we let the questions keep us from taking action, then they are detrimental.
Rappelling off the side of a cliff is always an adrenaline rush. Always a little scary, no matter how many times we’ve done it.
A launch is always scary. A webinar is always scary. Speaking is always an adrenaline rush. Having an enrollment conversation might always give us butterflies. And if they don’t, we might not be taking these things seriously enough.
But there needs to be a time when our questions stop and we take a leap of faith. A time when we put a stake in the ground. When we put the plane in the air. When we schedule the class, the webinar, the launch of our book, we book the hotel for the event – and then we make it happen.
There needs to be a time when we decide to do it afraid, without all of our questions answered.
And here’s the thing…
What we learn by feeling the fear and doing it anyway – we will never learn by standing at the top of the cliff and doing nothing at all.
Just between you and you. Where have your questions kept you stuck? Where has your need to know all the answers kept you standing at the top of the cliff? Where have you let fear keep you from putting a stake in the ground? And what’s one action you can take TODAY to take a leap of faith?
I’ve been there. I’ve felt all these feelings. I’ve let fear stop me. But I also know that nothing is as exhilarating or rewarding or growth producing as feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
Give yourself a gift – choose to feel the fear and do it anyway today :)
PS – Be sure to check out Susan Jeffers’ book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.