I took a walk on the “wild” side in Los Cabos, Mexico a couple of weeks ago. I had the opportunity to explore Cabo’s Wild Canyon and, as I scanned the property, I saw the longest hanging bridge I’d ever seen. The distance it spanned was greater than any bridge I’d even imagined.
Turns out this hanging bridge, which stretches over the Los Cabos Canyon, is 1,082 feet long and made of wood. It was an incredible sight and looking at it I said, “I am not walking across that!” But, because it looked so impressive, I decided to at least get an up-close look.
I walked over to the bridge, took a deep breath and then took a few tentative steps on it. Then I took a few more. It was in those next few steps I realized I really wanted to experience the victory of getting to the other side.
You see, on my last trip to Mexico, I took a day excursion to an ancient Mayan ruin. The idea was to climb to the very top of the ruin; but I only made it three-quarters of the way up. I decided to come back down at that point because the stairs were oddly steep and there wasn’t a rail or anything to hold on to; I wasn’t sure how I could get back down without falling. I saw others get down by sitting on each step and scootching themselves along one step at a time. I did the same.
Once I was at the bottom—and had figured out how to successfully descend the ruin—the fear was gone. It’s true what they say, “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” I could have gone back up but I decided it would take too long and it was too hot so I chose to climb to the top of the smaller ruin on the property instead. After leaving the site, I regretted my decision to not climb back up the larger one.
So this time, standing on one side of this massive hanging bridge, I chose to face my fear. I began walking across. I only looked down through the cracks of the bridge’s floorboards once. It was a looooong way down. For the remainder of the way, I kept focused on the other side. My heart was beating so fast—but I felt alive. I made it to the other side. You know what? It was no big deal at all to walk back across it. The fear was gone.
What is your bridge? What do you want to experience but have been putting off because you’ve been frightening yourself with scary thoughts?
Sometimes scary thoughts come up: It’s too difficult. I can’t afford it. I’m not strong enough. I’m too tired. I’m too scared. I’m too busy. And, as was in my case on the Mayan ruin excursion: It will take too long. It’s too hot. Those thoughts are lies attempting to defeat you. The truth is: You’re strong. You’re capable of overcoming obstacles. And, even though it might not look like it . . . you can do it! The only thing holding you back are the stories you tell yourself! Don’t let those stories stop you from living your adventure!
It’s important to understand, I’m not suggesting you take foolish risks. If the bridge I was walking across was broken down and condemned then that would not have been a risk worth taking. I’m suggesting if there is something you really want to experience in your life, don’t let scary thoughts stop you.
Your life is your adventure to live. Walk up to your bridge—whatever it might be. Get a little closer. Take a few steps—one foot in front of the other. Be amazed at how capable you are of getting to the other side! That was inside of you all along. Now that’s living your life by your design!
Tweetable: The only thing holding you back are the stories you tell yourself! Don’t let stories stop you from living your adventure! @DeniseMarek