Last weekend I went to challenge my fear of heights again at Forest Adventure, inside Bedok Reservoir.
Forest Adventure’s a series of tree-top obstacle courses, spread out over 4 sites. Like most height courses, it looks easy from the ground, but once you’re up there…
As far back as I could remember, I’ve always had a fear of heights. Whereas my friends were comfortable in glass elevators, roof-tops and roller-coasters, I’ve always found my feet getting all rubbery and my insides in a cold grip.
Things came to a head 4 years ago in Akltg’s Patterns of Excellence program when I had to walk across a wooden plank, 3 metres in length, suspended nearly 3 stories above ground.
Looking up at all my friends who were breezing through it with ease, I thought it was easy. Looking back, I guess that was because none of them had the same fear of heights I did!
When I got up there, I literally froze. I got on the plank and stayed stuck, not daring to move a step. I lost all sense of time, but my friends who were cheering me on below (I didn’t even hear them at the time) told me I must have been stayed at the starting point for a good 20 minutes.
Even an impromptu motivational talk by the man Adam Khoo himself didn’t work – until he said the magically inspirational words; “move on or don’t waste my time”. Something inside clicked and I took that first step.
You know they say the first step is the hardest? They’re right. After I took the first step, all I had to do was take the second step, and then the third. It got easier, and easier, and when I reached the halfway mark, I knew that since I’d already made it halfway I was certain I could reach all the way.
Which I did, and then promptly broke down in tears. Hey, it was an emotional victory for me okay?
Since then, I’ve found it easier to deal with my fear of heights. Yup, that’s right, I still get afraid. And it’s just easier, not easy. But I know the fear now, I know what it feels like, I know what it tastes like. It’s become more familiar and so has how it feels to overcome it.
Which helps when you’re facing down a steep series of wet steps down a dark, dank cave.
Or when you need to jump off a platform nearly 3 storeys high to fly across a large body of water supported only by a little piece of rope.
That’s me on the Forest Adventure swing across Bedok Reservoir! It’s fun
But why did I go do it if I was still afraid of heights?
I had to do it because I was afraid of heights. The most important thing I’ve learned out of coaching myself and coaching others is that we cannot stay stagnant, we must always put ourselves in situations that make us afraid, but are good for us. Whether it’s taking a cooking class, telling someone how you feel or taking a leap off a tree and flying into the air.
P.S. Or in my case, flying off this Saturday to join my friend Paiboon the monk in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand for a good 2 weeks, which includes a 10-day meditation retreat where you have to keep silent the whole 10 days. Sounds like fun isn’t it!
Don’t worry though, you’ll still get your daily dosage of Life Coaches Blog inspiration. I’ve lined up a delicious crop of guest articles which will be auto-published during the time I’ll be gone.