Zip-Zip Along


A while back, I had an opportunity to step up and step out.  Literally.

I climbed a 30 foot ladder, stepped off a platform and zipped through the air to the ground with applause and yells of encouragement echoing in my ears.

You should have been there.  It was a real hoot.

At least I can say that NOW.

I must say, the experience provided me with several challenges and obstacles before the hoot factor kicked in.

Uncertainty –  Was the choice to take this adventure a good idea? What was I thinking?

Doubt – What about my physical prowess?  I’m overweight!  I’m out of shape!

Comparison – The other participants are younger than me.

Forecasting – How far UP is that platform anyway?  Is my will current?  Did I leave my emergency number with someone?  I’m gonna die here.

Being paranoid – This rickety thing isn’t safe.  I know I look like a fool.  Do I have my lipstick on?

Doubt, worry and FEAR that I would fail hung like a thin stretched thread in my mind and I had the evidence to prove it.

How will I hold on to those little, bitty bars on that telephone pole?  This is real scary and I can’t do this.  I won’t do this.  What if I can’t?  What if I slip and fall?  The  platform…it must be jutting out 7- no – 8 feet past the pole!  They were idiots to build such a rickety, ridiculous thing.  What a rip off this is.   Remind me why I did this?  Because you’re a idiot you idiot.  I didn’t sign up for this.

Oh.  Wait a minute.  Yeah I did.  (Remember, THAT’S where you left the emergency number you fool.)

Yes, I was frozen with worry, doubt and fear.  You’ve been there.  And you didn’t have to climb a rickety, rotten pole to be there.  So what’s next?

Be willing.

The 30 foot plus climb was really a bitch once my asthma kicked in. The climbing rungs were too small for my size 11+ feet (I wear a size 7).  But I was willing.

Ah Ha!  I will do a short cut – after all, rules are meant to be broken.

Then (I think it was God speaking), “Ms. Phillips, I am sorry but you have to go back and do it the way we told you.  Your way isn’t safe.  We need you to follow the instructions, come the way we showed you so you will be safe.  Do you understand?”

You’re kidding me, right?  Thanks a lot “coach”, God whoever.

Nevertheless, I was willing.

Well, I did climb up that pole with my big assed shoes and little bitty rungs…wheezing all the way.  I lumbered up and over the platform the SAFE way after my miserable attempt to do a short cut had my ‘adventure specialist’ (who knew?) God speak to me.

Yea!  I’m on the platform.  Ureka!  I’ve done it!  And the fruits of my labor we’re paid off in spades.  All my buddies were there!  Clapping me on the shoulder, congratulating me, acknowledging my success.  Wow!

The ‘adventure guide’ God, was very handsome and I was staring into the bluest eyes on the planet.

Yee Haw,!  The hoot factor was kicking in.

So what does this story have to do with coaching and you, my valued clients?

When your are transitioning to something new or different, doubt, worry and fear WILL kick in.  It is human nature.    It is what everyone goes through when they are up to something BIG.  When the challenges of leadership seem insurmountable or the journey gets rocky…well it gets rocky.  Big time.

And that’s the truth.

So when doubt, worry and fear strike, your frozen and stuck, ask yourself, “Nevertheless, am I willing?”

And when you REALLY are struggling, get a coach.

Preferably a blue-eyed one.

Oh – And I still had to step off the platform and ZIP.  Yee – Haw!

*Coaching Tool:  When in doubt, worry or fear ask the question “Nevertheless, am I willing?”  Write it on a 4 X 6 card and repeat 3 times a day.  Post its wherever you can.


One Comment on “Zip-Zip Along”

  • Brittany Ritcher April 30th, 2014 9:25 pm

    Such a funny story! Absolutely loved it! I did a ropes course once and the rickety board I was standing on ACTUALLY broke in half once I put my weight on it! Thank God I was harnessed and had a particularly alert classmate holding my rope on the ground below and he caught me. (He was not know for his attention span, so I got extra lucky!)I love the thought, “Nevertheless, am I willing?” I’ll keep it wherever I go. Thanks for a great post! xo


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