I’m going to go out on a limb here, and bet you have no idea what you are truly capable of.
I’ve seen it so many times before, and experienced it again so profoundly this week.
For the first time since Covid-19 hit, I was lucky enough to get back to doing what I love, leading a small group of females on a leadership retreat (and in beautiful Kelowna to boot! First time traveling in over 3 months – and I have to say it felt good…)
And it never ceases to amaze me… seeing such extremely accomplished women not seeing in themselves what others – or what I – see in them.
It was during one of our experiential activities this week – braving the ropes course and zip lines – this pattern showed up again.
A few of them were admittedly pretty apprehensive. Either never having attempted a high ropes course before, or because heights was simply not their thing. Some were pretty fearful, reluctant to even put on a harness.
Sometimes we need someone else to remind us of how capable we are, how amazing we are.
And sometimes we need an opportunity or an invitation to step into a bigger version of ourselves.
Here was an opportunity, and an invitation.
Try on the harness. Tighten the straps. Go through ground school. Practice letting go and being caught by your harness. Walk up to the first element. Connect to the belaying system. Take the first step up the ladder. Walk onto the platform. Attach yourself to the line.
There was some emotion that arose, and there were some tears.
And you know what?
Two brave ladies in particular – who were initially the most anxious, and also quite emotional – were two of the only ones who made it to the third and most challenging level of the entire course!
The truth is, all too often when you are facing something you’ve never done before, something that scares you, or something you’re not sure you can do – we let those feelings and fears get in our way of ever taking the first step.
Sometimes (in fact more than sometimes) I bet you underestimate yourself.
Sometimes (in fact more than sometimes) I bet you haven’t felt ready or able to do the thing.
And sometimes (in fact more than sometimes) I bet you’ve felt pretty darn amazing when you’ve pushed through the fear and done it anyway.
You wouldn’t be human otherwise.
What sets those apart from being able to go further, to grow further, to push beyond their comfort zone and reach new heights, are those willing to be brave enough to take action in spite of their fear.
You may never feel ready before you try something for the first time.
And yet the irony is, you’ll feel ready only after you’ve done the thing!
Your willingness to get into action long before you feel ready, because you are choosing to feel ready enough.
Whenever you do anything new, it’s going to feel uncomfortable.
And whenever you do anything that stretches you, that pushes you, that scares you… it’s going to feel uncomfortable. There’s no other way around it.
And that is how you learn, you grow, and you achieve what you never thought possible.
Comfort and growth cannot co-exist.
And yet growth is required for real fulfilment.
The two ladies who were the most anxious going into the ropes course challenge, and chose to try it, to push through their fears, to keep going – were the ones who came out of the experience with the biggest smiles and the richest experience!
Now I’ll admit I make a pretty good cheerleader (and so if you’re looking for one, just say the word and I’ll be there with my pom poms in a heartbeat!) But you make an even better cheerleader for yourself. And I know she’s in there!
What have you been reluctant to try in your life? Perhaps it’s time to put on your harness, to face your first element, to take the first step up the ladder.
I dare you.
And then please share with me what you’re going to take on in the comments below – and I shall get my pom poms ready!
Have a FAB week!
Thank you for this article Carol, and this SO resonated with me and I am sure it does for many others as well. For anyone out there still afraid of stretching themselves and taking on new challenges with both hands without any expectations of the outcome – please do it!! It is the only way to grow, to move forward and find out what your purpose is, and it pays of big time – the biggest win you will get is that you start trusting yourself more and more, just like these ladies did on the ropes – yay!
Carol Schulte says
How wise you are, Cathy! And also bang on – the only was to stretch and grow is to take your next step, without being attached to the outcome. And you are living proof of the power that comes from trusting yourself… thank you for being the inspiration you are!