I was fortunate enough to accompany my son on a field trip to the mountains recently. I’d been to this place before and in my mind I’d hoped he wouldn’t want to get on the chair lift to go to the top of the mountain. Well, low and behold, of the four eight-year-old boys in our group, three wanted to go. The other mom and I looked at each other, secretly hoping the other would let out a “heck no, we won’t go” chant, but neither of us caved. With our own sons plus two classmates, all six of us loaded two chairs. Click the link to see my video of the ride. (From the video it doesn’t look that high, but if you fell out, you’d certainly break both legs at a minimum.)
The experience was the inspiration for this post:
Are you afraid of heights? Someone close to me once asked if I were afraid of being in the public spotlight. They were referring to having my image on the internet, doing interviews with news stations and having my picture and contact information in books, on blogs, my website, etc. The question kind of stunned me because how else will I be known if I don’t put myself out there? How will I ever achieve the dreams they, especially this person, had heard me talk about for most of my life? How would I get to the place God intended for me if I don’t tell a little bit about myself? How would I get over the hurdle of being a nobody in the literary world if I didn’t expose myself a bit? I never intended to just sell a few books to friends and family. I intended to sell books to people I didn’t know and they would tell more people I didn’t personally know to by my books.
I believe there are a lot of people, writers and otherwise, who are afraid of moving forward because they have a fear of heights. Do you fear going higher? In my analogy above, yes, the ride made me very uncomfortable, but it was a means to an end. I could either hike with four boys up a steep, winding trail, take a bus up a steep,winding road with no guardrails (which introduces motion sickness issues–not to mention fear of death,) or I could suck it up, get on the chair lift and be a Momro (that’s Mom/Hero) to my son and his friends. Fear of heights wasn’t an option. I had to do it to get to the next phase of the trip.
Are you stuck somewhere looking up at people passing you by because you have a fear of heights? Fear of the unknown? Fear of allowing God to open doors for you to do what you’ve been destined to do?
When I do public events, I meet a lot of aspiring writers/poets who have tons of stories and poems that have never seen the light of day. I also meet a lot of photographers, and for some reason, a lot of aspiring musicians and rappers. If you’re reading this post and aspire to do something you are not currently doing, get busy! I did it at a time when self-publishing was about as popular as store brand cola. I had my share of people tell me to try traditional publishing because no one respects self-publishers. Their list of reasons was long, but I stuck to my goal of writing good, quality stories despite the odds. I’m glad I did because the publishing landscape and changed tremendously since I started six years ago.
I am an introverted extrovert. I can be left alone or the star of the party. To be the star of the party you must be able and willing to go higher. Set your goals and take the first step, then another to reach them. You can’t go higher if you insist on staying on the ground where it’s safe. How many times have you attempted to do something and failed? How many times have you said you wanted to accomplish XYZ but stopped because you were afraid?
Don’t be afraid of heights. Go for it!