Pushing past fear

IMG_0110This weekend, I went skiing again after 17 years. I was terrified. After all, there was a reason I hadn’t been on skis in so long, mostly stories of childhood trauma I had told myself.

Every year, I would say that I wanted to try getting back on skis, yet every year I found a good reason not to.

This year, I ran out of excuses and decided it was time to push past my fear.

Did I love it, discover a new found passion, decide to start skiing every winter weekend? Not really. The first descent was awful. The second was a little better and by the third descent I could almost understand what people enjoyed about this activity.

Here are some of the things I found most helpful:

♦ Start very small. For me it was the green slope, then the blue slope – I didn’t set myself up for failure by starting on the most challenging slope, nor did I do more descents than I felt comfortable with.

♦ Focus on how you want to feel after you’ve conquered your fear rather than the fear itself. The word I focused on in this instance was VICTORIOUS.

♦ Visualize yourself overcoming your fear. Before each descent, my husband led me through a mini-visualization which involved me effortlessly gliding down the slopes. While reality didn’t live up to this image,  visualization is very powerful because we naturally gravitate towards where we are looking.

♦ Be open to learning from your fears. As Rainer Maria Rilke so beautifully puts it, “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

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  • Hiba on Feb 17, 2013 Reply

    Hello Anonymous Mariska – yes I guess so, plus snowshoeing the following weekend!

  • Anonymous on Feb 16, 2013 Reply

    Just read this, guess now i know where ur mountain ‘sufficiency’ is coming from;) don’t let hill see that or she ll drag u up the mountains for some crazy back country skiing:) always leave a next challenge for later, right;)

  • Hiba on Feb 09, 2013 Reply

    yes it is!

  • Nelly on Feb 08, 2013 Reply

    Bravo Hiba ,very honest and good A beautiful picture also of courage and trust is it in your garden ?

  • Hiba on Feb 06, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Paola! It is incredible the power these ‘stories’ have on us!

  • Paola Bassanese Energya on Feb 06, 2013 Reply

    Hiba, I really enjoyed reading about your skiing challenge, it is so interesting how our childhood traumas and fears stop us from achieving goals as adults. Well done on getting down that slope!

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