Posted by: ginalazenby | October 3, 2015

Fear of heights …. and overcoming the fear of letting go!

I’ve just been in Norway with an amazing group of people for our 7th twice yearly gathering. I’m part of a very interesting group called the Association of Transformational Leaders (ATL Europe) where everybody is doing fascinating work influencing the world in many different fields of endeavour. It is so special to have this opportunity to hang out with like-minded folk and learn from each other. It’s a great place to grow.

This particular 4-day event was in Oslo where we really connected with the Viking spirit and history of adventure and discovery. As part of the weekend we had our own little team adventure. Did I want to be one of the team to go on the Zip Wire? Having never been on one and feeling a little fearful I thought it best to volunteer and say “Yes, me!”. All in the interest of personal growth. That was before I saw the height of the darned thing. It was unbelievably high. I started to feel very sick in the pit of my stomach.

What I found out was that the Zip Wire is located above the Olympic Ski Jump at Holmenkollen. 100 metres above the top of the hill and 360 metres in length. I can’t tell you how ill I felt. When we got to the top by elevator and stepped out onto the decking I saw the others with helmets and harnesses and I so wanted to change my mind. But I knew I had to do it.

Between my hyper-ventilations, I reminded myself of everything I had ever learned about re-framing things and controlling fear. It wasn’t helping in any significant way.

I recalled being taught to ski many years ago by an Aikido master who coached me to keep my focus on where I was going and direct my energy there and not on the space in between. Don’t get caught up in the how or the route .. . just look at the end goal. OK. I stopped looking at the chasm beneath me and trained my eyes on my friends waiting at the end (so far away I could not actually see them!) and decided I had to make this mean something.

When I eventually summoned the courage to step off the edge (after double checking all the harnesses!) it was only a micro-second before I was enjoying the feeling of flying through the air… I even turned around. I realised that it was not flying high that I was afraid of, it was the letting go… that small moment where you let go of the safety that you are standing on or attached to, and take a leap through the air to the next thing.

Pretty darn powerful…. and I keep re-living that moment of stepping off. The flying was so short … 20 seconds … but I can watch it again on video and hear my whoops of delight.

What are you afraid of letting go of?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: