Fear and the Journey

Hey Steph,
My name is Christie and I am 26 years old. I felt compelled to reach out after reading your books. I don’t usually do this type of thing, but I just really wanted to thank you for sharing your stories. They have helped me on my own journey.

I recently ended a seven year relationship with my first boyfriend. When we were together he introduced me to climbing. I really enjoyed the sport, but I never really progressed when we were together. I felt pressure to be something I wasn’t when I climbed with him. The mental game was too hard to overcome and I had too many insecurities to feel confident when we would climb together. For some reason, I always thought of it as “his” hobby (silly me). We definitely had some good days, but there were many times where I was self defeating and self conscious when climbing with my ex. There were obviously some deeper issues going on there, hence the split…

After, I was pretty broken up. My fears of being alone and not being “good enough” seemed to be coming true. I felt unstable, unsure of myself and the future I was working toward, and unable to trust. I felt out of control and afraid.

I started climbing again, with friends. I’ve thought a lot about fear.

I realized people don’t overcome fear because someone else wants them to. It has to come from within. And when you do overcome and accomplish something you thought was near impossible, the feeling of reward is indescribable. Totally liberating.

Your stories have helped me work through some of my doubts and fears. You are so inspiring. Honestly, timing is strange, but your stories came to me at the right time.

The stories also helped me realize that in order to reach certain goals you need to be extremely focused and determined. I mean, it’s not rocket science but your stories in Asia and Patagonia really demonstrate the importance of persistence and perseverance.

So, thank you for sharing. I wish you luck in all your future adventures. You are definitely someone I look up to. I’ll have to explore your blog some more (first time visiting) because I really enjoy reading what you have to say!

Hi Christie,
Thanks for writing to me! I have also had that experience, of having the right book or story come to me at just the right time, and I’m glad some of my stories found you at the right time. In fact, funny enough, recently I was telling a friend about how the podcast “The Splendid Table” was one of the only things that made me feel “okay” in the first several months after Mario died because Lynne Rossetto Kasper always sounded so warm and kind that just hearing her talk made me feel like I could stand it a little bit. My friend told me I should write to Lynne and tell her that, so who knows, maybe I will 🙂 I also stumbled on the Coleman Barks translations of Rumi at a really pivotal time in my life, and especially the poem called “Joy at Sudden Disappointment,” and it’s still one of the most important ideas for me, really, every day.

I think we’re all dealing with fear and lack of self-confidence, we just all deal with it in different ways. I’ve often found that things that really scare me don’t seem to be a big deal for others, and the other way around. We’re all different, and as you said, managing fear has to come from within. For me, simply and stubbornly plugging away at my hard things has always been what worked, even if it often feels like progress is nonexistent or slow. I’ve had a lot of times where I really had no idea if I’d ever be able to do the thing I was trying (and continuously failing) to do, so I just kept trying out of curiosity, rather than hope of success. And I learned a lot, in all those times, and sometimes miraculously found myself doing it in the end–and you’re right, it is really liberating!
Thanks for your email 🙂

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