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  • LaRissa, LP Inspire

Scared of Heights

The first time I ever did a high ropes course was almost 20 years ago. I was terrified. I think I might have cried. And when I completed it, I felt like I could do anything if I just took a big breath first. I remembered that "after" feelings of accomplishment very well.

I remembered those feelings of accomplishment a couple of months ago when I was planning a field trip for the Lotus Project. I'm always saying, "You don't need to be perfect, you need to be brave." Or, "Take healthy risks!"

I thought a high ropes course would help us do both of these things. I had a grand visions... We go go there, get our empowerment on and feel great. We would follow all of the guidelines and be harnessed in. We would listen to directions. It was going to be a great team building and bonding experience!

So, when I stood on that platform a wave of fear washed over me and remembered the fear. I thought, "funny how my memory only remembered the good stuff."

As they were harnessing me into my safety gear and I was looking out onto the ropes course I thought to myself, "Whose terrible idea was this? Oh yeah... mine." I might have said this out loud. Let's be truthful. I did say it out loud.

Then I realized that as a leader, these ladies were going to follow my cue. If I freaked out or refused to go, which honestly crossed my mind, then they would do the same thing. They would give up without even trying like I thought about doing. So I did what all successful people do. I pretended not to be scared. I faked it.

And there were points when most of us (I say "most" because we had two girls that were flying around like adorable spider monkeys up there) but most of us were hesitant. A few times frozen in fear. Needing to be coaxed or encouraged. A couple of us had to reach for a hand. We watched each other succeed. We asked for help and advice. We encouraged each other. We took deep breaths and we just did it. And we did it scared. And we conquered that course!

We pushed ourselves further than we thought we could. And it felt AMAZING. Especially after we were done. Super awesomely amazing!

And not only did we feel good about ourselves but we learned some life lessons.

Sometimes when you're taking a healthy risk, you need to do it scared.

We all learned we were more capable than we thought we were.

Encouragement matters. Even from people you don't know well.

Seeking advice and asking for help is a good life lesson.

Doing something challenging makes us stronger and better people.

Not trying something new because you think you will look stupid is not an excuse.

Focusing on the outcome of something in a positive way makes doing it a whole lot easier. Focusing on the negative holds you back.

I hope that my girls will remember how they felt this day. I hope they remember how they were conquering warrior women. I hope they hold onto that and remember that they can do anything when it comes to healthy risks. And when my own children are a little bit older, I hope to (gulp!) do another high ropes course adventure with them, so they can know this feeling. LP

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