4 Things I Do To Avoid Being Paralyzed By Fear

Take a trip with me.

Four months ago, I visited a ropes course with over a hundred individuals. The purpose of the event was to increase our awareness of our fears as it relates to our purpose, vision, and goals.

One of the challenges in my route was to climb a telephone pole, stand at the top, and jump to grab a handlebar about seven feet away from the pole.

Climbing the pole was pretty easy. I just had to use the side handles to keep close to the pole and use my feet to step up. My challenge came when I had to transition from climbing to standing on top of the pole. Forty feet in the air was when I noticed the shaky pole, the distance from the ground, and my mind saying “how the hell am I going to stand up?”

Fear, doubt, and worry hit. Should I fight, flee, or freeze?

It took me a bit to gather my thoughts and figure out how to stand with no hands and balance my movement with the pole.

With that challenge done, I still had a handlebar to grab. Seven feet seems far when you are standing on a telephone pole forty feet from the ground.

After some careful consideration, I made the jump and grabbed the bar. Success!

Now, suppose you are the one with the challenge.

  • Will you climb the pole?
  • Will you jump?
  • What’s going through your mind?
  • What are you feeling?

The takeaway: The handlebar is the realization of your purpose and dreams. Everything before that is your life.


Four(4) things that helped me move forward:

  1. Recognize you are wearing a safety harness and rope.
    I was so focus on the climb and the perceived danger that I forgot I was attached to a harness and rope. Whether I fell or not, it’s was going to be okay. Despite all possible pitfalls, setbacks, trials, and tribulations, death is a very unlikely outcome in the pursuit of your dreams.
  2. Remember that each trial is a necessary success of the process.
    In order to reach the handlebar, I have to climb the pole slowly, stand on it while wobbling, and jump. Consider each step up a trial of your past that you figured out how to conquer; the wobbling, the relationships you had to let go; and the jump, the faith to bet on yourself after recognizing how far you have come.

  3. The shaking gets worse but it can’t stop you.
    The higher I got on the pole, the worse it wobble. In the pursuit of your dreams, life is going to push back harder. Not because it doesn’t want you to succeed, but because it knows you can handle tougher challenges.

  4. The prize is closer than it appears.
    I let the fear of falling distract me from the goal. The more I focused on the fear, the more I tried to convince myself that the handlebar was too far. But it wasn’t. There’s a reason experts recommend to focus on the prize and how to get it. Success is closer when you ignore the fears by remembering #1, #2, and #3.

Sometimes, all it takes for us to move forward is being clear on what we want and recognize that, in order to get we are today, we had to fail many times in order to succeed.

What is stopping you from taking that next step forward?



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