Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Is it truly better NOT to try than to try and fail?

If we keep busying ourselves toward the goal, perhaps we won’t ever actually have to reach it. Isn’t that the way it often is? We have something that we’d like, a new career, an experience, to seek publication for our manuscript—it could be anything. But something keeps us away.

Our inner critic? Fear?

Making that first unknown step is a big leap. It’s the hardest. Endurance toward our goals is also difficult. I would say that it’s our nerves, that underlying fear of failure, that inner voice that tells us we can’t, that often keeps us from trying something new—from going for our dream. It is much easier, after all, to have a dream, than to actually “go for it.”

There are always excuses for not doing something. I’m too busy. I can’t do that! I tried once and it didn’t work. Excuses are numberless. What we need, is to list the reasons for going through with our worthy goals. It will make me a better person. I’ll learn something. It will make me a happier person. I’ll become stronger.

I’m not saying that going rappelling was ever on my list of dreams, but when I got to the edge of the cliff, I started shaking inside. I just knew that I couldn’t do it. I envisioned a stream of disasters should I follow through with the endeavor. It was an unreasonable fear. People in our group went down before me, and they continued climbing up the cliff and rappelling down it for the rest of the afternoon.
This is the extent of my rappelling adventure
At that moment when I had my chance, I was overcome with fear. I was immovable toward my goal.

One reason to go ahead and try is that we learn so much about ourselves when we fail at something. For one, we learn if this goal means enough to us to pick ourselves up and try again.

Maybe I will try again at rappelling sometime in the future. Who knows? It really doesn’t mean that much to me. However, on our recent trip to the Wisconsin Dells, there was a zip-line tour. I’ve seen them on TV and it always looked fun. This was my chance to rid myself of the whole rappelling fiasco. My son and I decided to give it a try.

It was a fun idea clear until I got about half way up the tower. It was a long way up. The tower swayed with the wind. Anything could happen. And I could die. My insides shivered. I clutched to the railing as though the summer breeze could sweep me off the stairs. At the top of the tower, I realized what my problem was. I was afraid of heights.

Me, the person who used to climb pecan trees as a girl was now afraid of heights.

I still let our guide buckle me in, but then the little girl in front of me chickened out. I say this as though she gave me permission to also chicken out. She really had little to do with the fear coursing through me. I didn’t want to chicken out again, didn’t want this to become some weird habit, but I couldn’t make myself step off of the platform.

Luckily, I had a support there. My son. He encouraged me, and was patient. If he’d have gone first, I’d never have been able to make myself do it. As it was, I asked him to give me a little push, which he was more than happy to do. How many sons get the opportunity to push their moms off a cliff, after all? There were six zip-lines on the tour, and I thought that the next one would be easier. It wasn’t. I still needed a push.
Just push me!
If I get another chance to go on a zip-line tour, I may go again. I may not. Either way, I still have fond memories of the absolute terror I felt, and then with a little help, doing it anyway.

There have been a lot of firsts for me. Things I was afraid or nervous about doing—my first query letter—e-publishing my travel guide—sending out another query after receiving my first rejection letter—continuing to try to get published traditionally when the road has been long and emotionally draining. I could go on because the list goes into my personal life as well. The point is, to rise above our insecurities, and not to let them rule our life.
My heart is beating a thousand times a minute - but I did it!


Valerie Ipson said...

YAY for you! You did it!

Joyce P Smith said...

Tina, I loved this article because it reminds me so much of ME! (We must be twins?) I told Lisa last week that I just needed to "find" myself again. Our RS lesson Sunday and articles like this help me to realize I am a shining star - I just have my light hidden under a bushel and need to get the dang thing out again! ~ Thanks!!!!!

Tanya Parker Mills said...

The hard part in rappelling for me wasn't going down. I loved that! Had no qualms at all about starting down that cliff. It was the climb up, even with a safety line, that bothered me.

Strangely enough, I'm kind of like that with my writing. I take way too long getting the manuscript done to my satisfaction. Once it's ready though, I throw it out there. Rejection usually follows, but at least I land softly (with lots of chocolate).

Peggy Shumway said...

To be courageous is a difficult step. I'm afraid everytime I face talking to important people. I almost collapsed on my way to meet with the agent at the last ANWA conference. But I prayed about it, and the Lord helped me through. We can do anything with the Lord's help.

Stop by my blog. I've invited you to the Be Inspired Bloghop Meme.