You have come to the top of a mountain peek; the only way to continue on your journey is to navigate your way down the steep slope and over to the next lift. You have three choices:
- Just do it.
- Take off your skis, walk back to the last lift and risk your life trying to get back on the chair that was designed to only be exited.
- Stand there in fear until you find the courage to choose 1 or 2.
This is much like the feeling we get whenever we face a major transition in our lives. I felt this way as a kid each time my family moved to a new location where I had no friends. I felt it again during the my divorce and single-motherhood as well as throughout my son’s drug addiction and the death of my trisomy 18 baby.
Major transitions, like steep, slippery slopes, are scary.
Unless of course, you know what you are doing. Skills have a way of making the fear become an adventure.
I spent last week skiing in Maine with my husband and kids–who are all much more skilled skiers than I am. As they challenged me to ski trails far beyond my comfort zone, I found myself thinking of many friends who are facing some pretty scary slopes of their own.
When you, or people you love, are facing a life-altering Confidence Conflict, what can you do?
- Stop everything and try to pretend this trial, tragedy or temptation is not real. But eventually you are going to have to do something. Standing still only intensifies the fear and cools off any strength you had to do your best.
- Go back, or at least try to, but some things in life cannot be changed. Some sicknesses cannot be cured, some situations cannot be reversed and life cannot be restored this side of heaven.
- Your best move is to learn all you can and do your best to turn your fear into an adventure.
Here’s what I learned from my skiing experience:
- Perspective is everything. Don’t look too far ahead, take it one bump at a time.
- Get advice before any major move, but take it only from someone who has experience with, and respect for, the fear you face.
- Stop when you need to, but only to regain strength and focus.
- Stay in control of your thoughts. Think through your moves, not your fears.
- Don’t go straight down and don’t hurry.
- Don’t let a panicking instructor get in your head; always stay calm.
- Be aware of those around you but don’t judge their technique (or coping mechanisms) unless you are trying to learn from them. Don’t be their panicking instructor, keep your mind on your own bumps.
- When someone else falls, be with them, watch and warn for potential collisions with others, help them get their feet under them and pointed in the right direction, but do not try to lift them or you may both go tumbling down.
- When you fall, do not stay down. Do not replay the “failure” in your mind. Take a moment to regain your strength. Get yourself balanced on your feet again and keep your mind on implementing the skills you ARE developing. Just start again.
It’s not shameful to fall.
I learned a lot this year and overcame some major fears. In fact, I skied four and a half days without a fall. In my final hours, however, I fell twice. The first time had me so shaken up that I took a break and sat by the fire. I had to ski one more run, tho, to get back to the locker room. As I exited that last lift, feeling tiered but ready to enjoy one more easy slope, I spun around, glided into a split and landed flat on my face with my legs all twisted up. My body was bruised, but I have to say, after all the life-lessons I was experiencing, my confidence was not. Instead, I learned the most important lesson of all: be sure to strap your boots again after taking a break or you have no control over where you are going! Thank God I was properly dressed when I was on the steep slopes!
For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. Ephesians 6:15
If you are navigating scary slopes right now, I encourage you to get all the advice you can, stay calm and just keep doing your best to implement what you learn. Remember, every ability has to be developed. The most important thing is that you take care of yourself and be prepared. Even if you have all the confidence of a pro, if you want your trial to become an adventure, make sure you are well rested, fed, and dressed appropriately, because if your boots aren’t strapped, the mountain may win.
Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose passion is empowering women and girls to BE and LET BE. Her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach, as well as her personal experiences with abandonment and grief make her message relatable to anyone dealing with rejection, betrayal or loss.
Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, will soon be available as an audiobook. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com