I would like to share a story with you where I found how fear is nothing more than a mind game that may be holding you back even more than you realise… And you can win!
Sometimes You Have To Follow Your Heart And Push Fear Aside
Let me provide some backstory. Byron and I were exploring Nusa Penida, a small (but ever increasingly popular) island destination in Indonesia. We were about to go down the famous blue stairs that lead to Peguyangan Waterfall. A flight of stairs that made even Byron’s, who’s a fully-fledged adventurous spirit, knees shake ever so slightly.
A set of blue stairs that clings to a massive cliffside leading down to a sacred temple and waterfall that plummets over the edge of the cliff into the ocean below.
Now, I, Tammy, have always struggled with the fear of heights. My mind tells me no and my legs seize up and stop working. For anyone who hasn’t experienced the fear of heights this can be a funny concept to deal with. Just ask Byron when we first started dating. I froze up on Lion’s Head in South Africa and couldn’t move my body for a good 10 minutes; the first time he’d ever encountered something like that.
Back to the point, we were now faced with climbing down these ±750 stairs down to the waterfall. I don’t know if that is accurate, I can’t say I was bothered about counting them, just surviving them.
Byron now knows how to handle my fears and knows when to push me and when not to. Before walking up to the entrance, we discussed that we would give it a go but if I felt uneasy we could leave and do something else.
One thing our travels is teaching me is to push through the fear. So, I decided I was going to do it no matter what.
Clinging with both hands to the rails I slowly started making my way down the stairs. Breathing rather deeply I might add.
Accomplished, But Not Quite There Yet
Finally with the help and support of some fellow travellers I made it to the bottom of the stairs! There is something so refreshing about the spirit of people who travel!
However, after all of that, now I was faced with the fear of “Crap, well now I’m actually down here, but I don’t think I can walk further to see the edge of the waterfall.” I had just made it down ±750 stairs, and now I was scared to walk on solid ground!
One more time I had to look fear in the eye and tell it to take a backseat. I eventually found myself standing by the big blue pump. Byron was running about doing his thing and I was well… just standing. Suddenly, a full sentence ran in my head, I felt like God was telling me to step out and trust Him. If He can take me to the edge of a cliff, surely He can take me further.
So, I slowly journeyed out and joined Byron.
The Bigger Reward
Once we felt satisfied that we had taken everything in, we were about to leave when I, yes I convinced Byron that we should venture further and see what was beyond the temple. Yes, I pushed for more exploring!
To our surprise, we found the most amazing infinity pools that look out onto the ocean. We climbed in, and to this day it is one of our favourite memories from the island.
It was such a rewarding experience to overcome so many fears in one journey! For the first time in a while, I felt free and like I too could be adventurous. I headed back to the stairs and began climbing like I was never scared in the first place.
Point Of The Story…
Fear is nothing more than a mind game. If I had decided I wasn’t going to try and beat the fear or give in to the fear, I would never have ventured out, seen the waterfall or those magical infinity pools and I would have to deal with the regret of not going down for a long time to come.
Sometimes things can be scary, things can be uncertain, but if we never try there will be no gain. Sometimes it is worth facing your fears for ±10 minutes in order to lose them.
This doesn’t mean we suddenly have to go bungee jumping or skydiving to prove we have no fear, sometimes it can be as simple as applying for that job you don’t think you will get or swiping right on tinder.
Society should not see fear as a weakness but an opportunity to be brave!
As Mandy Hale once said:
“It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.”
― Mandy Hale
Do me a favour and be brave today!
Have you ever overcome a fear? Have you played mind games with yourself? Did you win? Share your stories with me below, I’d love to spread the positivity!
Beating Fear’s Mind Games
There have been a good few travelling experiences where I was confronted with challenge, but like I said, fear is a mind game and these times I won!
The two best examples I can think of is when my fear of heights played a role again, from being stuck on Lion’s Head to conquering Suwehan Beach, where I scaled down the side of a cliff with nothing but some old ropes!
I should also mention the road to Pai. This is an example of being thrust into fear and playing your own mind games to make it through!
Travel Anxiety has also been a major factor for me, something I have been working hard on. So if you sometimes feel those unexplainable pressures when travelling, check out my top tips!
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