This past summer, I went on an adventure I thought I’d never experience – I climbed a mountain in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. My husband loves the mountains and hiking in Banff was one of the items on his bucket list. I like to hike through mountains, but to go all the way to the top is something else entirely. You see, I have a hard time with heights. I’ve had this fear as long as I can remember and it has prevented me from enjoying some unique experiences.
This time, instead of backing out of the adventure, I decided to be brave and work through my fear. To accomplish this feat, I tried the following three tactics that I use to accomplish goals in general.
Keep the Ultimate Goal in Mind
The view you enjoy is reward enough, but I knew it would be awesome to say I climbed a mountain, especially since my friends and family know I have a hard time with heights. As I hiked, I kept reminding myself how great it would be at the top.
Concentrate on the Next Step
Focusing on a big goal can be inspiring, yet daunting at the same time. When I started feeling overwhelmed, and trying to envision the ultimate goal just wouldn’t cut it, I changed tactics. Instead of thinking how great it would be to reach the top, I concentrated on making it up the next switchback, then the next, and so on. These goals may have been little, but they added up.
Lean on Your Support System
The group I vacationed with knew of my fear and were proud of me for trying to go beyond my comfort zone. Whenever I started to get overwhelmed, or went through a particularly steep part of the trail, they encouraged me to keep going. I simply had to ask and they would help guide me through the difficult parts.
If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t climb the highest mountain out there, but nonetheless, it was a big accomplishment for me. Does this mean I conquered my fear of heights? No, but if I choose to do something like this again, I have the tools and the know-how to accomplish it.