It is time for me to confess. I risk some ridicule, but I am hoping I might be able to help others that are feeling stuck.
Yesterday, on a hunting trip to a friend’s family farm, we climbed into a homemade tree blind. It was well made, the ladder was sturdy, but it was high. I would say it was a solid 20 feet. 20 feet might as well have been 100…my kryptonite is heights… more specifically ladders. When I see a ladder, or even a scene with heights in movies or on t.v., I feel my strength drain. I feel the power leave my limbs. I go numb and begin to turn to stone.
I’m with my friend, though- we’ve come out to hunt and I’m a grown man- so we climb into the stand. Pretty standard ladder climbing, don’t look down type of thing. We both get in and get situated… we hunt, we talk… I was fine just sitting there in the stand. But then the thought hit me like a hammer: I have to get down.
You might be reading this and and saying what is the big deal? It is just getting down. Well, to me in that moment it was a really big deal. I am not for sure if was my fear of heights or ladders that was driving my blood pressure up, but it was the fear of fear that paralyzed me.
The height plus getting down the ladder created anxiety. The thought of that anxiety getting out of control was so weighty in the moment. I could literally feel the pressure of the fear… the weight of my anxiety added to what I had to carry back down each rung.
I do not believe I am alone in this. Your kryptonite might not be triggered by heights and ladders, but there is something in your life that gets the fear ramped up to the point where you feel yourself starting to freeze.
What causes you to get to that point in your life? Can you put your finger on it?
When you get there, who talks you down?
You see that were two keys for me last night.
One: I had a trusted friend nearby when I got stuck. I made it quite clear I was stuck and I was having anxiety. Now, you have to show a bit of trust and a considerable amount of vulnerability when you experience anxiety that starts to freeze you. You have to name it and ask for help. If you do not ask for help or admit you need help, you will crawl up into the fetal position and fossilize. Just for the record, I did not make it to the fetal position phase last night.
Two: I took the first step. When it came time to get down, I only focused on getting onto the first rung. I had to tell myself, I just had to get to the first step. I did not have to worry about all the steps, just the first one. The identification of the first step was greatly aided by my friend. He was able to talk me through it. I know I sound weird, but the weight of that moment was real. Concentrating on first step was tangible and I could focus on it.
Are you stuck right now and the kryptonite is causing you to loose all strength?
If so, who do you need to call today?
Is there a friend that you know is stuck, and you can see their kryptonite draining them?
If so, will you call them and let them know you are there with them?