Susan Mary Barnes
How I Moved from Fear To Joy!
Updated: Oct 15, 2021
We had a camping holiday this year in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, in fact the area was a best kept secret, still untouched by modern life & simply stunning!
The campsite where we stayed was situated on a cliffside at one of the southern most tips of England with incredible sea views. We were so lucky as we had long hot sunny days. The nights were cool but the view of the stars in the night sky was awe inspiring!
The beach was wonderful soft golden white sand, surrounded by cliffs and crystal clear sea lapping at the shore.There was just one problem for me. The climb down to the beach was extremely steep and perilous consisting of rocky steps and views of sheer 100 foot drops down to the sea below, and wait for it, I was petrified of heights! I knew it was very steep although I hadn’t really thought about it much, I just knew that somehow I had to get down to that beach or I would be sitting in the campsite all week on my own!
The time came for our first trip down to the beach. I put on my heavy walking boots & socks for safety & loaded the bare essentials I needed for the beach into my rucksack.
My daughter went first with our dog, Toto wearing his new sturdy harness I had bought him especially for the journey, followed by my husband. The distance between the top and the sea was quite staggering, deep down I was literally shaking in my boots! I was trying not to overthink it as if I did, I knew I would freeze in fear!
I made myself concentrate fully on each little step I took, feeling my feet connect solidly with the rocky surface before I moved on. I Never paused for longer than was needed to see the next best place to put my foot. Solidly & steadily I took each step. The sand and the soil in between the rocky steps was dry and dusty as no rain had fallen for over two weeks. Occasionally my foot would slip, leaving my heart in my mouth but only more determined not to trip next time.
As I came to the steepest part of the journey I kept going as quickly as safety would allow (I knew that if I stopped and thought about the danger and possibility of slipping I would freeze!)
Finally I reached the bottom, Toto our dog let out an excited bark as if to say “you are safe now!” The beach looked and felt like paradise to me, made all the more sweeter by conquering my fear of heights. I truly felt on cloud nine!
How I overcame my Fear
1/ I decided it was non-negotiable, I had to do it and indeed wanted to do it.
2/ I prepared in all the practical ways I could - sturdy footwear, comfortable rucksack and checked I had everything I needed.
3/ I set off straight away so I didn’t have time to overthink it and pull out!
4/ I was fully present and concentrated on each small step.
5/ I didn’t look too far ahead - or down!
6/ I didn’t make a big thing or a drama of it (something I probably would have done in the past!)
Are you struggling with something in your life that you long to do but fear is holding you back? What I have found is fear dissolves in the face of action. Here are some tips below that I hope may help you:-
1/Decide what it is you want to do.
2/Clarify why you want to do it? This will help you to keep going even if the going gets tough.
3/Prepare with practical steps, a firm foundation to keep you safe. (However, don’t overthink or delay with over-preparing)
4/Move towards your goal without delay, one small solid step at a time, being fully present for each step.