Fear of falling increases with altitude. At one foot I have no fear. At 10 feet I begin to get cautious. At 15, I’m afraid. The tipping point to fear is about 11 1/2 feet when I have one foot on a rung and the other foot reaching for the next.
Last week when I first attempted to climb I almost quit. The job appeared big as well as high. With a little guidance from a guy who knows something about ladders, I managed to begin cleaning and staining the highest points of my house. My fear of falling subsided when I made it past the horizontal mid point. From there I could see the end. I also discovered that my chance of completing this job without a tragedy were higher than my mind told me when I first inched my way up to the top. I realized a life lesson as the fear of failure evaporated and the feeling of happiness of completing a job I thought could not be done was within reach. Happiness is on the other side of fear, and fear has its place.
Fear is a choice. Once we decide if fear will keep us planted where we are, run, or inspire us to proceed with caution, we have a commitment to make. Reminding ourselves there is happiness to be had we press on learning to navigate in the risky areas. Sooner than we might expect, the fear gives way to confidence (and a healthy respect for the real danger) and confidence with competence takes us to the goal. Even if happiness is fleeting, it may be worth overcoming the fear to feel the happiness.