It is perfectly natural to have fear while climbing and recognizing that you are not alone is important. I have heard several testimonies that were similar to mine. Each climber said that they had a fear of heights before climbing and how it helped them with their fear. This fear is not just among regular climbers but even professionals. One day while browsing on YouTube, I landed on an interview with Roanne Voorst on EpicTV. She had interviewed several well-known rock climbers about fear including Alex Honnold and Hazel Findlay. I would never thought that professionals like these would have a fear because they appear fearless especially Alex Honnold as he climbs without a rope. If you would like to see the interview, click here. Roanne Voorst also wrote a book called Fear!.
So, who doesn’t have a fear? Fear is a huge issue, not just in relation to climbing but in many aspects of our lives. Fear immobilizes us and deters us from moving forward in many aspects of our lives, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and spiritually.
If you are dealing with fear and don’t know how to manage it, here are some ways you can fight fear.
If you are a spiritual person, I would say pray first. Prayer is powerful especially if you have faith like a child and had supernatural experiences before. We all need something more powerful than ourselves so if you are a praying person, ask God for help when in fear. It helps.
Positive thinking is key to success. When climbing the route that you have chosen, picture yourself completing it. Seeing yourself completing a route helps you to think about what you would like to accomplish rather than the fear itself.
In addition to positive thinking, when in fear, try to speak positive words out your mouth. Speaking positive words helps dispel negative thoughts.
Of course, not looking down helps a lot too. However, if you catch yourself looking down, don’t panic. Instead, image being in a secure place that is considered high up such as a tall building or an airplane.
Preparing for the physical symptoms of fear such as trembling of the legs while on the rocks, rapid heartbeat and the sensation of butterflies within the stomach can help you accept your fear without quiting. When people have a phobia, it’s not really the object or the situation that they are fearing. It is usually the uncomfortable feelings that occur during their anxiety. So, if a person has a fear of crowds or cats, they try to avoid those situation because of the “feelings” that occur. Exposure therapy could be a solution as it exposes a person to the anxiety source in order to help overcome anxiety or distress, and in this case, fear of climbing or heights.
If you have a fear of heights or have conquered it, please share your story and tips!