Tuesday, May 7, 2013

BEDM Challenge: Day 7 Having a fear is not weak

It has been 1 week of the blog challenge and I feel like I am nailing it so far! Here we go with Day 7's prompt:

"The thing(s) you're most afraid of"

Something that people don't know about me is that I was a very fearful child and had to constantly battle myself to just get through the day. Anything, and I mean ANYthing could terrify me and send me into the security of my room.  So when I saw today's blog challenge I was excited, because things have changed since I was a terrified little girl hiding in my room.
Over the years I've realized that I have to face my fears and that maturity is the reward for confronting the things that I fear the most. Year after year of facing the things that make me fearful has turned me into a brazen and bold person. I am a really outgoing and enthusiastic woman who has been called fearless on more than one occasion, but there still is ONE thing that can turn me to stone.


No, that isn't me, but it is from the camp that I worked for. It's called the pamper pole and I DID jump from this thing and I think it's like 60 ft. or so high.
No matter what I do, think, tell myself, or how I train, heights has always managed to rock me. AND NOT IN THE GOOD WAY. My fear of heights was also one of the first significant fears that I faced and realized that avoidance and defense mechanisms were not the path to a happy life.

When I was 18, I spent the summer working for a high ropes course in East Texas....yea, say what? Why would a person with a fear of heights sign up to dink around way off the ground, and act like it's not a big deal so that campers feel safe. Who knows? God, I think. Yes, God. At the time I was doing an internship with a ministry and the high ropes course was part of the summer camp that we ran during the summer months. Somehow, I was picked out of the callers and told to fill a spot out on the ropes course. I remember thinking, hooray, I get to be in the SUN! And then I realized that all the fresh air would have to be enjoyed as I hyperventilated dozens of feet off the ground.

Now, when I tell you that I have a fear of heights it goes beyond just feeling woozy or jittery. My fear is what I would describe as being on a primal level. Instantly my heart ramps up, I start to feel like I am off balance, and the sky seems to be rushing down to meet me. My muscles lock up, it feels impossible to even move an inch, and all I want to do is curl into a ball until I am on the ground again. YEESH!

I think I might have been the only worker that had a fear of heights and everyone there seemed to be an adrenaline junkie. I mean these people jumped off of things during our lunch breaks for fun!
But, the good thing is that no one made me feel weak about my fear. I was encouraged to keep going and I started to see what other people saw when I overcame my fear. My own strength. Despite, my little revelation of strength when one of the other workers challenged me to work the tippy-top of the massive climbing tower  (I'm not even going to guess how big it is, but know that it's stories and stories high) with him on the very last day of the summer camps I thought I was going to literally die. I was saved at the last minute by two other workers who had apparently slept at the ropes course OVERNIGHT to make sure that they would be able to claim the honors. Who does that?! I told you, I was the only one that seemed to NOT love heights at this summer camp. ;)

Even though I was terrified about 90% of the time that I worked on the course there were two things of value that I learned, and why I say that God was most likely responsible for putting me in an opportunity that I would have never chosen for myself. 

1. That I am stronger than I think and that I can learn to work through my fear. 
2. That I can succeed because people believe that I can. Thanks, Jeremy Robertson for giving me this realization by trying to get me to the top of the tower.

Well, that's my fear! Even though heights still manage to paralyze me I haven't let it stop me from hiking and doing a measure of rock-climbing. Whenever I have to confront my fear of heights I look at it not as a weakness, but as another chance to remember how strong I am. 

Are there any fears that you have worked through in your life? How has the confidence of seeing what you can overcome changed your outlook in life?


  1. Oh, I have only tried to do a high ropes course once in my life and I had to be rescued less than halfway through. I seriously could not move! I was curled up on the ropes, crying and hyperventilating with my eyes closed until two of the workers came and got me. But I swear it took at least 20 minutes of everyone encouraging me and trying to get me to move forward before they finally gave up and decided to put me out of my misery! haha! Oddly enough though, I have never had any other adverse reactions to heights. I don't mind hiking or thrill rides that involve heights. But that one did me in!!

    1. I feel your pain!! I was on both sides of the crying on the ropes ordeal and I always felt horrible when some of the people on the course were freaking out. The good thing was that I could tell them that I had done it and they could too even though I knew they were so not having my encouragement at the moment. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. :)

  2. Not sure if I would ever do what you did but its great that you did it.

    Came by from

  3. Hi Crystal! Glad that I found your blog through Jenni - I use to live in Seoul ten years ago. I had a really difficult time to adapt back then becuase it was my first experience abroad. Saying that, I went back 2 years ago and just looooovvvvveeeedddd it - Korea has come so far in such an incredible short time. Simply amazing!

    I could also relate to what you were saying about heights! It's always been a fear of mine as well ..... good job for trying to overcome it!


    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

      I have heard about the drastic changes that Seoul has gone through over the last decade or so from people who were stationed here and moved back. You are right about having to adapt to living here though, because even though I have lived abroad adjusting to Seoul was a big deal. I feel like I've gotten the hang it though and I really enjoy being here now, but those first few months were ROUGH!