You know on what topic? Fear of heights! Trippyyyy!
Why trippy (for those who don’t know much about me)? Because I’ve tackled the same fear of heights for a very long time. I don’t sleep through a rollercoaster ride but for the most part now, I am very calm and fear-free when I’m “up top”.
A group of us went hiking this past weekend. We had just climbed The Grind (“Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”) at Grouse Mountain and on the way back down as we got on the Skyride lift, one friend went into a very familiar panic mode trying not to show it. It was the easiest coaching talk I’ve ever got into. I had been there and done that so many times! As if I was looking at my past self.
I wished when I was having all the crazy feelings about heights someone like me was around to have that chat with me. Then again everyone’s journey is different.
As many of you are aware, being scared of anything (not just heights), stirs up symptoms as heart racing, stomach clenching, sweating, etc. which I consciously divert and associate to excitement and adventure rather than fear. (Please refer to one of my previous blogs for more details).
This incident got me thinking even deeper: I was standing on the other side of the equation. What other experiences in the past have I transformed into cognitive functions as a result of not ignoring them and repeating them over and over again to change their interpretation?
First you have to take note of what you’ve been conditioned to believe and relate to as love, fear, hate, etc. When did your association with each of the actions, thoughts, or emotions begin? And how can you disassociate from the old ones and give them a new meaning?
Ok, let me give you an example to make it simpler but I don’t want to go too deep into this right now as the blog might turn into a book:
I loved my grade 4 teacher; I looked forward to going to school everyday just to be part of her teachings and studied really hard to impress her. One day in class, she began praising some of the students and I was sure she would mention my name too. To my surprise, not only I was not part of that group, she singled me out separately from all other students saying that I can’t even draw a straight line and there isn’t much hope for me! The whole class laughed at her so-called joke, except me.
As I was born and raised in a family with nothing but praise and love, I did not hate her or hold a grudge but later I realized that after that incident I didn’t want to get to know any of my instructors or bosses on a closer and deeper level. As soon as my class or work hours would finish I would leave right away to go about my day even though I was invited many times. I always wondered how the other students at university go to lunches and coffees with the professors and have chats without the need to hold a huge chunk of themselves back.
It was only a few years ago that I remembered my grade 4 teacher’s comments and it all came back to me. I had been associating all my teachers and, later on my bosses, to her and had been guarding myself from being hurt and disappointment again.
I have changed that meaning since and have been keeping in touch and built great friendships with most of my instructors and past employers. They’ve been the kindest of friends and never hold back on praising me. Hee Hee! 😀
Now, let’s turn this on you. What memories can you think of that might have limited your beliefs subconsciously and what can you do to change their association to positive experiences today?
P.s. Look who I found on top of the mountain? A cute and fuzzy lumberjack! 😀
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