I recently set myself the challenge of overcoming my biggest fear – heights. I’m a self-confessed fitness fanatic, it’s what I do for a living, but that doesn’t make me immune to fear. However, I recently learned that fear is not all bad; it can actually be your best friend! As part of my job as the Runtastic Fitness Coach, I wanted to leap out of my comfort zone to see what makes other athletes tick and challenge myself to get to the heart of their sports, ones I’m not good at or just plain scared of! So we started a video series called “Seal the Deal” on the Runtastic Fitness Channel, which was created to completely remove me from my element.
“And, of course, I knew that there would come a time when I would have to face my biggest fear.”
I have been afraid of heights my entire life. I don’t like being up high and being able to see below me. That means no roller coasters, no bungee jumping and definitely no climbing.
No climbing that is until I sat down with a professional scaler of enormous heights, German climber and mountaineer Alex Huber, and asked him how to use my fear instead of being paralyzed by it. Before I actually climbed, I let him know how I was feeling so that he could best guide me through my challenge.
“’As soon as you face this challenge, I am sure you will be able to overcome it,’ Alex said to me. ‘Fear is your best friend while mountaineering and climbing because it helps you to fully concentrate on what you are doing.’”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. When I was up on the climbing wall, I was completely zoned in during every single movement.
Here are 4 things you can learn from conquering your fears:
1. You shouldn’t decide that you are afraid of something until you actually try it.
As Alex said, fear is your friend and it’s actually there to help you. On this day, I could not escape my fear, I had no choice but to use it for something helpful, something strong and something powerful.
2. Facing your fear helps boost confidence.
If I can climb a wall that high, I seriously think I can do anything. Not because what I did was so spectacular, but because it was something I had told myself for over 20 years that I could not and would not do.
“Whether at work or in my personal relationships, I don’t really feel like there is anything that cannot be overcome.”
3. You are never too old!
I missed out on so many fun things as a kid because of this fear. I would go to amusement parks with my family and I would be the one holding everyone’s purses and hats while they went on the roller coasters or on the swings. Oh well, these are things I can try now.
4. Truth is, you might still always be afraid.
I think I will continue being afraid of heights, but less afraid to challenge myself further. Actually, I want to keep that fear so I can maintain that extreme focus Alex talked about.
Do you have something you are afraid of that you are ready to face?