How to Push Yourself to the Next Level

Moving to the next level requires thought and action.A few weeks ago, I went rock climbing. It’s an interesting choice because I have a slight fear of heights. I don’t volunteer to climb ladders. I don’t get excited by the idea of skydiving. No, I like to keep my feet on the ground.

Somehow, though, I agreed to go rock climbing. I had a curiosity about it, especially since I had tried and failed to climb a rock wall a few years ago. I thought I might be better prepared for rock climbing with some of the training I’ve been doing primarily for myself and coincidentally for the Tough Mudder.

I was prepared well enough for the physical activity of climbing; however, the mental activity almost defeated me. I wasn’t even a quarter of the way up my first climb, and I felt the fear of falling and the fear of failing. I wrestled with the fear of falling – despite the safety harness – and I dealt with the fear of failing by moving one foothold and one handhold higher. Eventually, I reached the top of the wall and was able to ring the bell.

Pushing oneself to the next level with one’s work isn’t all that different except no safety harness is given. No guarantees of safety are made. It’s a scary place to be. The person recognizes it’s time to move onto the next level, but he or she also knows what the next level means. It means moving forward with little to no certainty of the outcome. It means risking ridicule and failure. It means ignoring the people who say how to reach the next level or who plead with the person to return to the ground. It requires making a decision: moving a step closer to the top or returning to the safety of the ground.

The one who chooses to take the next step does so carefully. The act is not done blindly or impetuously. It’s done with a full understanding of what the next step means, and it means no turning back. It means more climbing to come. It necessitates making certain that the next step will hold his or her foot at the very least. The climber moves up one step, then another. He or she reaches the top, then prepares to climb another wall.

Photo: Janet (CC BY NC 2.0)


  1. Nicely put. In my blog post yesterday I analogized to high jumping…seems we’re on a similar wavelength:) Cheers! Kaarina

  2. getting to the next level can be scary. but it’s even scarier staying put imho. congrats on overcoming your fear! lovely post.

  3. There is something that comes from the pushing, climbing, up, out and higher that scares me. Every time. The option? That would be failing. I think, that would be the only choice that would be a complete failure, choosing not to try, not to keep reaching for the next hand-hold.
    You may fall. You may even get hurt. But you can’t fail, if you are still working on it. 
    The risk of ridicule, the risk of not meeting your deadline, the risk of finding your own way up to the top of the wall or mountain, instead of following someone else’s route ~ which for me, that means I have a heads-up on how solid something is, how deep my boots will dig into the rock and dirt, what rocks will shift, translates into extra caution and relies on my own past experiences.
    I believe once someone, like yourself, reaches the top of that wall, lands a great guest spot as a blogger, the next time isn’t any less frightening or daunting, but there is strength to be had from the previous success and accomplishment.

    • AlaskaChickBlog I concur. The climb isn’t any less scary, but you have a better understanding of yourself and of your ability to make it to the top. It also brings an awareness of when more work or help might be needed before scaling the wall.
      Thanks for stopping by the place again!


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