Reaching Beyond Your Goals
We walked together towards an ultimate challenge. A rock climbing wall 44 feet tall. I saw it looming ahead, slowly realizing what we would be asked to do next. I was not particularly concerned, because I knew I would be able to take on my normal stance: cheerleader, encourager, both feet firmly on the ground supporter of whomever would take the roll of victorious climber.
Feeling triumphant, I donned the rock climbing gear. Yes, I have on my cheerleading garb, I thought to myself. It dawned on me: we were all expected to at least attempt to climb the wall. I set my sights on the first platform, about 15 feet high. Surely that would show my willingness to participate in the group event. It only required I venture marginally outside my vision of my own abilities.
Rarely are people who are seeking significant life change challenged by setting their goals too low. In fact, the contrary to this is normally the case. Right?
Think for a moment, though, if this is actually the truth. Do you set your sights upon that which you are capable to achieve? OR do you instead settle for that which you have been lead to believe you are capable to achieve?
I had eyeballed the wall beforehand, to see which route to take up the wall. I noticed during my first trip it was really not that hard at first. My larger concern was my friend who was upon the wall above me, who had stopped and was wanting to come down. As is also a usual role for me, I made the decision to come off the wall, so my friend could easily and swiftly get down.
The person "on my belay" (a rock climber's constant support and safety system) said to me, "You do not even want to know how close you were to getting to your next hold." At that point, I really did not want to hear. I did know I wanted another chance to fulfill my goal of arriving at the first platform. None of my peers had reached it yet.
For my second climb, I simply started up the wall. One hold before the next simply and easily. There was no one immediately above me nor below me. Before I knew it, I reached my goal. I looked up, towards the top. In a split second, I made the decision. I was going up.
The decision, while simple, was actually monumental. I am not a particularly athletic person. Remember, I am great at being supportive of the people achieving amazing physical feats, not being an active participant. I stood there, held on to the wall and said a silent prayer before stepping off the platform to the next few holds.
Not looking down, I called out for verbal cues. I made some fancy moves with my feet. I reached the second platform. I cried, prayed and sang in my head as I thought, "Just get to the next platform. Just the next one." I looked up, and asked my helpers below for advice and encouragement.
As I climbed higher, I became critically aware that I was not alone in any of the climb. I had my partner who was "on my belay". As I would reach up with my hands and lift my leg to the next hold, he would tighten the cord, literally lifting along with me. I also had the power of prayer, time to pause, and moments of quiet singing as I got to each platform. I also had the leverage of my own fierce determination. I had a lifetime of believing I was not physical that I was battling to overcome. I had many hours of negative self talk telling me, "I can't do X, I can't do Y, I can't do Z because I am 1, or 2, or 3."
The wall had become symbolic of all I had wanted to do, yet believed I could not do because of my own self imposed limitations. In that quick decision on the first platform I decided I was no longer being a participant in my own destructive beliefs. I was going to become completely, fully an expression of my destiny.
After being the first of only two from my group who reached the zenith, I was literally giddy with the feeling of accomplishment. The man on the belay said, "What are you going to do next?" My response? "ANYTHING!"
The wall taught me many things. First, I sometimes aim too low because of false beliefs I have continued to perpetuate in my life. Second, I have an amazing support system in place if I am willing to share my control with them just as when the belay assisted me in each of the higher holds. Third, remembering to pause, pray, and express powerful emotions at each platform filled me with the necessary strength to continue the climb. Without each of those components, I would not have made it. In day to day living, doing each of these activities is crucial to living a full, complete, destiny filled life. Finally, in each decision I make, I am either saying YES or NO to possibilities. In saying NO, I am saying NO to unbelievable growth. In saying YES, I can fully embrace that I can do "ANYTHING!"
And if I had "fallen off" the wall? I would have been safe and protected. I would have tried again.
YOU can do anything. Live Passionately, Today!
Julie Jordan Scott