How many of you cower in the corner when you are pushed into places and positions that make you more visible and accessible to the public? How many of you dread being in the spotlight? How many of you would play the background for the rest of your life to avoid any unwanted attention? If you said yes to any of those questions, I would dare say that you were meant to go higher.
I recently took a new position, and near about had a heart attack when a friend texted me what she thought was good news. She sent me a news article with my name and picture as the headline. Insert major anxiety attack! No. Seriously. Instead of joy or pride, there was a tsunami wave of fear that consumed that exchange, and when I found out that people were commenting, I near-bout dug a grave for my own soul.
I immediately went to all my social media sites and deactivated them. It was something similar to the Fort Knox lockdown that happens in the movie “The Purge”. The windows into my life were now metaphorically covered and doors dead-bolted. I panicked, and fear consumed me in a moment that was supposed to be celebratory – not because I have anything to hide, but because I would prefer to hide in the shadows.
It wasn’t until I was scrolling in the mall with my son that God grabbed my attention in a non-conventional way. It was a simple message on the back of Nike t-shirt at a local sports store. The shirt read, “Get over your fear of heights.” It was a regular tee, but it had a timely message that resonated within every fiber of my being.
In that moment, I realized that I was, indeed, afraid of heights — beyond that of roller coasters and zip lines.
I work hard, but within the boundaries I’ve set for myself. I’ve found myself doing just enough to be successful, but not enough to move into any realm that would take me higher. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of failing terribly and publicly. I’m afraid of the loud, obnoxious critics and trolls whose sole existence thrives off of tearing others down. I’m afraid that I will bite off more than I can chew and look like a fool in front of folks who already secretly want me to fail. I’m deathly afraid of falling ever so ungracefully from those higher heights. So, what do I do? I avoid taking rides and routes that take my feet off of the ground. That’s both literally and figuratively.
That phrase. That simple phrase: “Get over your fear of heights,” has so much to unpack, and here is what I realized:
1.) If I never get over my fear, I will stay stuck, and that doesn’t bode well for the vision I have for my life nor the legacy I wish to leave.
2.) Staying stuck is not only a choice, but it is my choice. I can choose consistently to do things outside of my comfort zone and embrace the discomfort until it becomes familiar if I really want the “more” that I desire.
3.) It’s okay to go slow, to get my footing and my nerves together, as long as I don’t stop, shut everything down and let fear win.
4.) There are some things that are already mine, but they are on higher ground. I will have to go get them, or I will forever forfeit the “could be” for “what is.” My “what is” ain’t it. LOL!
So, here is what I have decided: I want all that God has for me. I have decided to get out of my own way. Fear can visit because it reminds that I am in unfamiliar territory. It makes me more aware, but it can’t stay, and it can’t make me leave.
I’m going to new heights. Shaking in my boots, with knees knocking, but with a firm resolve to collect all that is mine. Who’s with me?
I wish you all love, peace, prosperity, and, of course, courage to “get over your fear of heights.” Let’s embrace the journey together.