So, if you recall, a couple of posts ago I talked about facing my fear and my intention to ski again after breaking my leg in 2013 (The Bear Under the Stairs)?
And indeed, true to Helen Cooper’s lovely childrens book, when I ‘opened that door’ by getting back on the piste last week, it was nothing like as scary as I feared.
Yes, my heart was beating hard as I stood at the top of my first run down, but I breathed deeply, tried to relax and focused on what was immediately ahead. As I glided down at a sedate pace my fears just melted away; I remembered why I enjoy skiing so much.
It’s clear my leg still has a way to go before it’s back to full capability, and I was unable to walk far in my ski boots, so I kept it to only 2-3 gentle blue runs a day, and rested completely on a couple of days. But now I’m feeling confident that by next year I’ll be pretty much back to normal and I’m looking forward to it!
The experience was a great way to test those beliefs I outlined in my previous post, but there is one thing that emerged as especially helpful that I didn’t really mention before. Something historically I’ve resisted but has always made the difference in the most critical points in my life.
I was able to face my fear because I had the help, support and encouragement of others.
My family, and the friends we were away with, were there with love and care – not over-protecting me but trusting in my own judgement of what I could or couldn’t do – with gentle challenge and great support. My eldest daughter in particular was a fabulous ski companion and her constant presence and feedback on how I was doing was tremendously reassuring to me.
I know in the past I’ve viewed it as ‘failure’ to have to reach out for help.
Fiercely independent, I felt I ‘should’ be strong enough to deal with things alone. But now I know it’s not weakness to seek out the help we need, quite the opposite, and all the great leaps forward I’ve had have always happened when I’ve reached out to others.
And it’s true in the Bear Under the Stairs too – the story book I’ve been using to help illustrate how we can overcome our fears. The turning point for William is when he tells his Mum and together they open the door under the stairs to face what’s within.
What we can do to create the right support is just one of the steps in my upcoming free e-course How to Change and Make it Stick – a six part journey, so watch this space if you’d like to know more.