A few years ago, I found myself at the bottom of my own metaphorical and seemingly insurmountable cliff face. There I was, standing in the shadow looking up, feeling really small…
All I wanted to do was to get off the ground and out of the chilly shadows. I wanted to get on top, up and out in the sun! Now the easiest way to do this would have been to take the tourist shuttle up the road that zig zagged it’s way to the top. I’d get there really fast. But something told me it would be worth the effort to take another way.
Generally I’m not one for making life harder than it needs to be, I’m quite the opposite at times, but I questioned what I would learn from just hopping on that shuttle and being transported quickly and comfortably to the top. Granted I could relax and enjoy the view!
The idea of climbing the cliff on my own was both scary and would have been a pretty foolish thing to do. As I considered it momentarily, images of me getting stuck and not being able to move and me slipping and falling flashed through my mind. Not a good idea. Instead I engaged the help of a skilled climbing partner, someone who could guide me to the top, sharing their skills, tips and techniques to support me on my journey up the cliff face myself.
So I geared up my harness with quickdraws, a couple of slings and carabiners, pulled on my rock shoes and tied in securely to my rope. Tentatively I started to climb, focusing on what I’d been taught before. I looked to where I placed my feet and felt my way with my hands. Below me my guiding partner’s voice encouraged me on my way upwards, building my confidence and self-belief.
First pitch done, I made safe and belayed my partner up to me. Then we swung lead and she climbed deftly on, moving gracefully, precisely picking foot holds and hand holds, adjusting her balance to find her centre of gravity to make her body as light as possible when she moved. Second pitch done. My turn to lead again. This time I moved with more certainty and confidence, still keeping my mind totally present in the moment. I moved, shifting my body and weight from position to position to get in balance.
A few times, I had to rest on the rock to work out the next moves that would be best, that would be achievable. I climbed on enjoying the feeling of strength and flow, enjoying the feeling of flow. I was tiring, so I paused and looked up to see where I was and spied the ledge above me. With determination and a final push I’d reach the top. Taking deeper steady breaths now and encouraging shouts from my guide below, I steadily found my way to the top. I don’t know how elegant those last few moves were accompanied by my huffing and puffing through a couple of tough moves right near the top, but I go there!
At the top, I made myself safe and looked around. My breath was taken by the view that lay beyond and behind and I felt a rush of endorphins. I’d made it! I realised how much clearer it was up here. From the top of my ledge, I could see infinite vistas. I imagined them as choices I now had open to me, I’d gained a new clarity… and I’d never felt such an amazing sense of achievement – because actually, I’d done it myself!” Of course, then I belayed my partner up too,
Life has a way of making you forget how challenging things can be. The route I took was just perfect for me and precisely what I needed to do.
To change our outcomes requires that we change our perspective and thinking and do something a different way. As a coach I can guide you (like mine did) to follow your own path and make your life into what you really want it to be. Are you ready to reignite that spark and make that change?
Conquer your own rock face and rediscover your inner strength, self assurance and zest for life.
Why not book a call and discover what’s possible for yourself?
Updated June 2022.