What You Can Learn from Your Fears
You may or may not know this, but I am terrified of heights. Actually, I once had a client whose job it was to coach people to overcome their fears. He told me I wasn’t afraid of heights, but afraid of falling from a high place. Whatever it may be, I don’t like being up high and being able to see below me. So, what have I done to overcome my fear of heights? I started doing more of what terrifies me.
I went zip lining and parasailing in Mexico last summer and actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Yes, my heart was beating like crazy and I was super sweaty and almost had a mini panic attack – but I did it. But the one I am most scared of is…climbing.
I knew when we started the Seal The Deal series on the Runtastic Fitness Channel I would have to climb. I knew it from the beginning, before we even partnered with world-renowned climber Alex Huber for this month’s episode. I knew if I wanted to make this series real, authentic and true, I would not only have to do things I am not good at (try to head a soccer ball, shoot a penalty shot at an ice hockey game, etc.), but I would have to face and try to overcome my fear of heights.
First of all, working with Alexander Huber (of the legendary Huberbuam) was a total pleasure. He was super friendly, rugged, genuine and a true mountaineer. He could definitely tell I was scared. So, during our interview, I had to ask him about fear, how he deals with it and if he’s never scared when climbing. He told me that fear is his best friend when climbing because it gives him the necessary attention and focus. Nailed it!
As soon as we started climbing, he gave me tons of good input and feedback, and I completely understood what he meant. Every time I would reach up to climb higher and higher, I was super aware, very focused and actually felt much more in control than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, my team for sure had to cut out a bunch of cuss words during the editing process – I was really scared. However, I learned so much.
To watch my full interview with Alexander Huber and see how I did climbing, you have to watch the video. But, here are my top 4 takeaways from this crazy experience:
- You never know if you are truly scared of something until you actually try it. While I may not be scared to walk into a gym or try a new workout, I now completely understand what people mean when they have those feelings. Don’t decide if you don’t like something or are scared of it until you actually do it.
- Even as an expert you have to keep practicing and learning. I think that is the best part about my job – I get to learn all of the time.
- It’s important to focus! Now when I am working out and I am super sweaty and my heart is pounding and I just want it to be over (similar to when I was climbing), I simply try to focus more on every single movement and repetition. I try to take that intense emotion and use it to focus and zone in on the task at hand.
- It’s okay to be a beginner at something. That’s the message of Seal The Deal as a whole. Maybe I can lift heavy and do jump squats for days, but I will probably be climbing the “beginner climbing walls” for quite some time – oh well!
Do you have something you are petrified of? What’s your biggest fear? Tell me about it in the comments below.