Consequences of Reaching the Next Level

Doing the scary thing makes it easier to do other scary things.Even though rock climbing scares me, I want to go back. I reached the next level, and I want to push myself more. I want to see if I can climb one of the other walls. It’s a consequence of reaching the next level. I get a rush of exhilaration whenever I accomplish something I thought I couldn’t.

The same goes for work. People who push themselves to the next level quickly tire of the same-old, same-old. They require challenges, either ones given to them by an employer or ones they assign themselves. They move forward in fear and find themselves in one of two places: at the top of whatever it was they were trying to accomplish or at the bottom of it, wondering if they should try again. Neither outcome is better than the other. The first means a new challenge, a new wall, awaits. The second means climbing the same wall again or finding a different wall. It does not mean failure. Failure is found in not making the attempt. It is not found in trying and realizing that the wall, whatever it is, requires a second try or is not the right one to attempt.

The people who do climb the wall then have to find another wall. They can’t rest on a past success. They can enjoy it and be encouraged by it. They can use it to motivate themselves when they’re struggling with the next wall. They cannot, however, become static. They have to keep moving. Most of them will because they glory in the climb and in the reaching of a seemingly unattainable goal. They are not content with sidelines. They want to be where the action is, even if that action can be a solitary venture at times.

They also become better at plotting their next climb. They know better than to climb a wall for which they are ill-equipped. They train for the wall. They take the measures that should be taken prior to making the climb. They do not jump frenetically from one challenge to another. They know that the climbs are dangerous. They have to be prudent.

Another consequence is that they become better judges of criticism. They learn which voices are beneficial and which ones are to their detriment. They learn to deflect the scornful comments in order to make the climb up the next wall. They remember the words of caution and advice given by others. They remain grateful for those words as they climb. They may have to make the climb themselves, but they know they wouldn’t make it without the help of others.

Those are some of the consequences I see in reaching the next level. What consequences do you see?

Photo: Alan Berning (CC BY NC SA 2.0)


  1. You have to leave your comfort zone. (Which, by the way, is my plan for the year. Not resolution, plan.)

    • barrettrossie Here’s to plans! I guess I’m mostly scared mine won’t come to fruition.
      We need to catch up some time. You need to tell me how things are progressing with the radio show and the other project.

    • barrettrossie The last two things I’ve written, Touched and Secret Doors: The Challenge, were departures from the Henry Wood Mysteries, and I definitely felt like I was leaving my comfort zone. Now, I’ve started a new novel, entirely different from all the rest, with a voice steeped in snark, and I must say, I’m enjoying it here in this new place.

  2. Great post — there’s a line of advice in the Sunscreen Song that reads, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.”  I think you are meeting the spirit of those words.  Rock climbing IS scary.  🙂

    • Frank_Strong It is! I don’t even like heights all that much. I like pushing myself, though. Amazing things can happen (to borrow a line from cc_chapman) if I put in the effort and stop being frozen in fear.