This is a place of extremes; nothing about this expedition has been easy.
– Emily Harrington, Everest 2012 Summit Team
How extreme is your Story?
What did you expect?
Last week, we explored taking a leap of faith. Think about how many times you have taken the plunge and advanced because you jumped. Still, when the invitation to take another leap comes so does the temptation to remain seated.
The illusion of easy living causes us to believe it is less risky to stay “sittin’ on the dock of the bay”. Liberation to take action comes when we embrace the truth of our situation and take the plunge.
Who said life would be easy?
The majority of us living here in the United States of America are blessed beyond measure. Many of us are so accustomed to saying what we’re going to do and doing what we say we believe we’re “in control”.
This weekend, I reached down to slip on my shoes and felt a sharp pain in my lower back. Just like that, my plans changed. (Yes, it is a simple illustration compared to other “life events” which effect relationships, health, finances, etc.)
Likewise, stories that compress the “timeline of success” often minimize the challenges, the discipline, and the hard work of getting “there”.
Easy is not reality. Albert Ellis wrote,
There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.
To make the climb, let go
Let me introduce you to Emily Harrington. Emily is currently the only American consistently placing in the top five on the World Cup rock climbing circuit. I hope you enjoy this short video of her projecting a route on Waka Flocka in Rifle, Colorado. Think about your journey…
She writes about the experience in her blog:
I learned a lot from climbing on Waka Flocka. I learned how to climb more powerfully, to try harder, and to have patience. Like Chris said, every route is a process, and even the mental aspects don’t come easily.
Most importantly though, I realized through this experience how important climbing is to me. I went through a phase a few years ago where I wasn’t sure if climbing was my true passion, or if I’d just gone down that path subconsciously because I didn’t know any different. It took several years to realize how much I care about this sport and the lifestyle that goes along with it. I am fortunate to have this life, and I wouldn’t want it any different.
In the video she also speaks about sacrifices associated with a next level climb…
So some of the sacrifices I make projecting a route that’s at my limit — well you can’t really be focusing on anything else…you can’t get distracted — oh, I want to go here, I want to go here — especially in rock climbing. If you want to climb at your limit you have to be there, and to be trying it.
Reaching your summit …
What feels like a wall of solid rock in your life?
Does this bring to mind a challenge you face … a partnership or colleague at work, your marriage or raising a family, taking responsibility for your health or finances, growing your business in these tough times?
What if you you create space to reflect using these questions:
- How must you change if you are to achieve “success”?
- What are you learning from “being” in this moment?
- Where is your focus?
- What are you learning because of this challenge?
- How will this take you to your “limit”, in positive way?
- When did you start thinking this was supposed to be easy?
- How does believing it should be easy hold you back?
Taking a leap of faith often requires a reality check about my beliefs; who said life would be easy?
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