This picture was taken over the weekend in Pensacola, Florida at the Naval Air Station and home to the Blue Angels. To get to the top of the lighthouse, we had to walk up 177 steps. Steps that spiral straight up, I should mention. I should also mention I am afraid of heights.
Let me tell you what you cannot see in this picture. I am sweating. My heart is pounding out of my chest and I feel physically weak. My mind, that’s an entirely new problem. It’s racing. All I can think of, is the distance from where I am standing on top of this lighthouse, to the ground below me. Irrational thoughts are going through my mind; for example, what if this building collapses and I fall to my death? No mind it’s been standing strong for more than 100 years and survived multiple hurricanes. No mind, it’s made out of cast iron and brick. You see, when fear takes over your mind, rational thinking goes out the window. You begin to strategize multiple excuses of why you can’t do something, instead of thinking of all the great senses that would awaken if you said yes!
Perhaps if I was alone, I may have chickened out. But, I had my 7 and 9 year old boys with me. I couldn’t let them miss this experience simply because their mama had anxiety about being 190 feet up. So I swallowed my nerves, and started walking. And kept walking. When I got to the top, I was just as nervous as I was when I started. But guess what – the physical sensations of fear should remind all of us, we are alive … and living. We should welcome those feelings, instead of avoiding them.
We have one chance at this. One life. And it goes by quick. If we say no to “opportunities” in life because of fear, we are missing all the glorious discoveries on the other end. Things we can taste, smell, feel, and see. Things we can learn about. People we can meet. Memories we can make. All of that would be lost if we let fear stand in the way. So this is just a reminder for all of you scardy cats out there like me – whatever you are thinking of doing, but haven’t done because of fear, do it anyway! Say yes. Take the job. Move to that dream city. Dump the toxic mate. Join the gym. Write the novel. Start the company. Put down the chips. Go back to school. Forgive. Wear the dress. Speak your mind. When you say YES TO YOU AND NO TO FEAR, you will discover an entirely new world out there. If I made it up 177 steps, you can take the FIRST ONE!