I’m Here Because of My Fear

The Knife’s Edge connects Mt. Katahdin and Pamola Peak in Baxter State Park, Maine, USA.  This shot was taken from Pamola Peak before we began to hike the Knife’s Edge trail.

Extreme heights really freak me out!  You will never get me hanging by a cable off the top of the CN Tower!  The first year we hiked Mt. Katahdin I was intimidated of this “trail” as it is quite narrow in spots and very high up in the air.   In some places, the vertical drop is probably 1000 ft.

Actually, the Knife’s Edge is more of a mountain goat scramble than it is an actual trail.  You jump from craggy boulder to boulder with razor-sharp edges for most of the way, so you better be darn sure of your footing.

It would be very easy to stumble and fall.  Trust me, you don’t want to do that.  

The next year I decided it was time to conquer the Knife’s Edge.  I have conquered that beast a total of three times now.  There were other times that we hiked Mt. Katahdin but didn’t do the Knife’s Edge due to adverse weather conditions – like electrical storms, and high winds that could blow you completely off the mountain!

Mt. Katahdin kicks your butt.  It is one most extreme comfort zone blasters I have experienced to date.  This past September my husband, son, his girlfriend and I hiked up the Cathedral, across the Knife’s Edge, and down Helon Taylor.  It is rigorous.  Anyone who hikes that trail has my respect and admiration!

Let’s play what I call The Knife’s Edge Game.  What fear can you face and begin to conquer today?

What exactly is your comfort zone?  You only need to look as far as your fear to find it.

Warrior, what makes you sweat?

Perhaps it revolves around leaving that job you really don’t love or applying for that job you know you would love.

Perhaps it means finding your voice and asking for what you need in your personal relationships.

Perhaps it involves stepping into the ring and competing in a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or even a full marathon foot race.

Perhaps it looks like joining a gym – putting yourself out there and learning to use all those machines, regardless of who is looking at you and how much of a newbie you may look to others.

Perhaps it means singing that song you have sung in the shower for decades in front of an audience, or drawing up a legal will, or finally putting down your last cigarette…

Where do you give up, or give in because doing otherwise would mean becoming uncomfortable?

I’m here, leaning into my dreams because of my fear…and in spite of my fear.

Make fear your friend.  Use it.  It keeps you on your toes.  It keeps you sharp.  It keeps you playing full out.

Make fear the path to your goals.  And curiously, fear and excitement, physiologically, are the same.  Your body doesn’t know the difference – it’s your interpretation of it that makes all the difference in your world.

Look at the things that make you uncomfortable – your dreams will never be achieved in your comfort zone.  If they can, then sistah, you aren’t dreaming big enough!

What if you woke up one morning in a body that is old and tired, knowing that time has run out?  Knowing that there is no more time for second chances.  No more time for excuses.  No more time for future dreams.  No more time to consider regrets.

No more time.  

The choice is yours.  Play the Knife’s Edge Game to win.





Published by Paula D. Tozer

I am a writer, poet and singer/songwriter. I am a Toastmaster, motivational speaker, personal creativity coach, and workshop leader. My most sincere wish is to share my words with others, and that we both benefit from the exchange.

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