A few years ago my husband and I went rock climbing at Carabener’s, an indoor rock climbing gym in New Bedford, MA.
The first few climbs were fine. But as Michael finished his fourth climb, and I prepared for mine, our conversation went something like this:
MICHAEL: Watch out for the broken hand hold about half way up the wall.
ME, looking up: Doesn’t look like a problem. There are plenty of places to climb.
MICHAEL: Just keep an eye out.
And so I climbed.
About half way up the wall (you probably guessed it) I got stuck. That broken hold was perfectly placed for my next move yet unavailable to use. I had no where to go.
ME: I’m at that broken hand hold. No where to go, can you give me some slack in the rope so I can come down?
MICHAEL: I’ve got you. Give it a minute.
ME: Yeah, but there is no where for me to go!
(Side note for those not familiar with rock climbing. Michael and I were connected by ropes and a hook, also known as a carabener (click for an image). As I climbed, his responsibility included tightening or loosening the slack in the rope allowing me to climb or descend. This is a safety feature and one that should have made me feel at ease. It didn’t.)
ME (desperate): Let me down! There is no where to go!
MICHAEL: I’ve got you! You got this. Let yourself hang and rest.
30 feet in the air and he wants me to hang and rest?
Sweat dripped down my cheeks, my heart raced, and legs burned. Grrr. Michael didn’t cut me any slack. And deep down, quitting wasn’t really an option.
So with a giant exhale, I loosened my grip, one finger at a time, and let myself hang.
Once the swinging stopped, I could rest. [Finally] trusting that Michael wouldn’t drop me, I relaxed in the harness. Here I could catch my breath, rest my body and gain some clarity about the next move.
ME: Ok, I want to keep going, but don’t have anywhere to go.
MICHAEL: I’ll give you a little slack. Then you can descend a little, move to the right and keep climbing.
Duh. In my state of tension I hadn’t even thought of that. So, Michael gave me the slack I needed to shift right. A few minutes later I successfully reached the top.
What Do you Wish to Accomplish in 2018?
Lately I’ve been talking to a lot of ambitious and motivated professionals about their ideas and things they want to accomplish. Yet something often holds them back from taking action.
- Not knowing how to start
- Worrying about what other people will think
- Feel uneasy with the idea of talking about or promoting their work
- Fear of things not working out
- Fear of things working out
- Time, money, resources, family obligations
As a result they feel stressed and stuck. Just like I did on that rock wall. (And pretty much every time I put a new idea into action.)
Whether this is the year that you write a book, start a business, say yes to leadership, give that world changing speech, or explore personal hobbies, YOUR IDEAS MATTER.
To get unstuck and bring them to life you need what I call the 5Cs:
To learn more about the 5Cs, download this free 1 page PDF and hang it by your desk as a reminder of what’s possible. (Please share it with friends and colleagues who might find it helpful.)
To a Courageous 2018
More than ever the world needs “bright lights” – people who have the courage to bring their ideas to life and improve their workplace, community, world.
Your voice can get someone out of a funk, give them hope for a better future and influence their behavior.
The only question I have left for you today is…do you have the courage to use it?
Leave a comment and let me know what YOU wish to accomplish in 2018?
Wishing you and those you love a Happy Holiday season and much success in 2018.
Like this post and want to get more tools and insights to strengthen your verbal communication? Get Communicate Naturally a free twice monthly communication and leadership newsletter. Sign up here.
Live in the Boston area and want to power up your public speaking and communication skills? Check out the half day Speak with Confidence workshop.