Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Fear Of The Climb

Yesterday, I went to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and climbed to the top. It was 203 steps up a winding staircase. As I started to climb, I thought this is not too difficult. Of course, if I looked down the center of the stairwell, my pulse rate increased! I got a lump in my throat seeing how high I had climbed.

As we neared the top, my legs began to get tired and my knee was hurting. At one point, I wondered if I could make it all the way to the top. My motivation to reach the top was that I really wanted to make it and I didn't come to see the lighthouse just to observe the outside structure.

Finally making it to the top, I stepped outside on to the platform. The strong breeze hit my face, while I could see for many miles. From the shoreline of Daytona Beach to the Atlantic Ocean before me and New Smyrna Beach to the south, the view was spectacular. It was out of this world! At 175 feet, it felt as I was above it all.

My eyes fixated on the ground which was now a distance from me and I grew anxious and scared. While I was safe on this ledge, my eyes and mind saw fear. I had to steady myself, acknowledge the fear as I allowed myself to be there on the ledge. It was not easy because there was a part of me that was scared to death.

I kept telling myself that I was safe and that these fears were unfounded in truth. While the anxiety remained somewhat high, I convinced my mind that I could do this. I changed my thoughts and allowed myself to enjoy the view.

So, even though the fears wanted to get the best of me and they looked as real as they could, I knew that if I put them in perspective, I had the ability to view things differently. While I do not deny the possibility that something could have gone wrong, it did not. Most of the anxiety I was experiencing was based in fear, not reality.

Often, our fears are bigger than they actually are. In the moment, it is hard to convince our self that this is not the case. If we stop though and look at the bigger picture, we'll quickly see how the fears are much smaller and more afraid of us than we may realize.

(Above Picture taken at the lighthouse at Ponce Inlet, FL - (c) 09/14/10)

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