Conquering Your Fears (What I learned on my summer vacation)

The river gorge with zip lines visible.

For those of you following me on Facebook and Twitter, you know that I traveled to Africa (view photos.) What you may not know was that I also learned a very important life lesson…

It was beautiful and sunny in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  For days I had been contemplating doing a 425 meter zipline across the mighty Zambezi river gorge.

The thought of hanging from a harness on a rope strung from one side of the gorge to the other was frightening but also exhilarating.  I spoke with everyone about it, even my Facebook friends. Had they done it before?  What was it like? Were they glad they did it?  They all loved the experience!  Being in Africa made me want to push my boundaries and be more adventurous.  Yet still I was scared.

Why would I intentionally go off the side of cliff? Is this something a sane person does?  I had my concerns.  Yet still I mulled over the idea until the day came for the zipline excursion.  It was fun to be part of the brave group that said yes to adventure despite the dangers.  I felt cool.  I confidently went through the steps from putting on the harness to marching up to the gorge’s edge.

All of the sudden, fear took hold.  

I stopped and said to the guide, “This is a good idea, right?” fully expecting “yeah it’s cool” in return.  But what I heard instead was a life lesson…

“It’s good in life to conquer your fears” he said. 

I did a doubletake. He was right.  I stepped up to the edge and took a deep breath.  I let go and zipped through breathtaking scenery.  I didn’t feel scared, I felt serene and as if the only things that existed were me and that gorge.  It was peaceful.  I was peaceful.  

When I arrived on the other side of the gorge, I had not only changed countries (Victoria Falls spans Zambia and Zimbabwe), I had changed perspective.

Fear wasn’t going to stop me from having beautiful, exhilarating experiences. It is good in life to conquer your fears.  

I share this story because making a career change or going after your ideal career can be just as scary. You may be at the edge ready to make a leap but stopped in your tracks because of fear.

Take it from me and let these words ring as true in your ears as they did in mine that day, “It’s good in life to conquer your fears.” Say it out loud and really feel the power.

I did it and you can too. Share your fears and how you’ve conquered them (or would like to).  I’d love to hear your stories!

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