The only thing to fear, is Change. Or fear itself…


Yesterday in Vancouver I spoke to a financial services group. One of the topics I brought to the table was the concept of facing fear, or rather, the implications when we don’t.

I shared a story I’d forgotten about until recently, which is interesting (that I forgot it) as it had a huge impact on the direction my life has taken.

In February 1998, just ten months after losing both legs, I set out to climb Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain. That in itself was scary. I didn’t know for sure if I could get to the top, so part of what scared me was fear of failure. That fear was mostly in my own head; as did it really matter if I didn’t get to the top? Would anybody die if I didn’t make it? I don’t think so.

A very real fear arose however halfway through two, when; whilst scrambling up and over the large boulders that make up the western slope of the mountain, I came to a point where I reached a huge slab of rock that looked like it was going to be quite difficult to climb over. That wasn’t what stopped me though. What stopped me was that the way the rock was resting, before me was an opening underneath the rock, big enough for me to crawl through, that would save me the considerable effort of climbing over the top. But I’d have to go under the rock…

I’d been under a similar looking rock just ten months earlier. Images flashed through my mind… Could that happen? Could that rock possible fall on me if I crawl under there? Is there any way on earth that could happen?

I knew what I had to do.

Telling myself that lightening could not possibly strike twice, I leaned forward onto my stomach and begin to inch my way through the gap, slithering like a snake until I emerged out the other side. It took no longer than five seconds. It felt like an eternity.
Was I scared?
I was terrified!

But I knew this:

I wasn’t going to live my life paralyzed by fear. If I was going to be out in nature again, this type of obstacle was going to appear; quite often when you consider the ease of staying low when you have no legs…

My question for you is the question I asked yesterday in Vancouver:

Are you going to live your life paralyzed by fear?
While weighing up what you have to lose in making a decision; also weigh up what you have to gain…