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Conquering Fear One Step at a Time

February 4, 2010

I’m not sure exactly when it started, but I have always had an extreme fear of heights. I couldn’t handle walking to the top of the bleachers in the high school gym or auditorium, and even to this day when I am on a roof top I stay several arms lengths away from the edge, just in case. Now that I am regularly in Georgetown, every other day I have to climb a very steep and long escalator, that rises from the Rosslyn metro out to the street level. To the other commuters, it was an escalator, but when I looked up, I saw a mountain. I remember the first climb, I was clutching the railing, half praying and holding my breath as I took cautious steps up the moving escalator, sure that any moment might be my last.

Fast forward to the other day…I was astounded as I effortlessly climbed up the escalator at a brisk pace, and reached the top with not even a glimmer of my past fears. Where did the fear go? Day by day, taking each step, moving a little faster, somehow, I had conquered it.  This experience reminded me that all too often we can look at our personal “mountain top” or goals and feel paralyzed with fear. The dream may seem too big, too ambitious, almost impossible. That’s why our daily steps towards our goals cannot falter. Each day, moving through our fear, taking a step a little quicker, a little slower, we inch our way towards the top.  It’s important that as we climb, we give ourselves permission to go at a steady pace, maybe to stand still for a moment and regroup when setbacks arise, and to allow sudden bursts of courage to cause us to take a leap. However we make it to the top really doesn’t matter, as long as we don’t get off our path.

What tasks can you do today, to work towards your “mountain top”?

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