When Plan B is Not An Option

One of the first adventures we took in Mexico was to climb the mountain at Land’s End. Cabo San Lucas is at the bottom tip of the Baja Peninsula. A series of mountains and rock formations gently boarder the cape and separate the Mar de Cortez from the Pacific Ocean. At the top of the largest mountain is a cross. We heard one could climb to the top so we thought we would check it out.

at Land's EndAfter trial and error we found what we believed was the path to the top. For me it was definitely more of a climb than a hike. Tiny pebbles on larger rocks made for unstable surfaces. My little legs had to work hard to move from one landing to the next. It was a challenge, but we did it. We made it to the top and enjoyed the amazing panoramic views from above.

The climb up was challenging but exhilarating. I felt a sense of accomplishment at the top. But then I looked down. All the way down. I realized my journey was not over – I also needed to climb down the mountain. The path we took up seemed to disappear. The rocks I had used to pull myself up were now the launch pad to the next rock down which was not in sight. I got scared. I didn’t want to go down.

I looked for a Plan B.

Perhaps there was a ranger team which deals with rescues. Or maybe there was a helicopter that could pick me up from where I was. Or maybe my husband could carry me down on his back. Every Plan B I came up with became more and more ludicrous and impossible. The truth was there was no Plan B. I had no other option but to make it down the mountain on my own two feet.

Can’t say I was the model of calm and confidence on the way down. My slippery sandals were not meant for the terrain. My inexperience at climbing led me to bad choices. At points I was filled with fear. But I did it. I made it down safely. Not sure if I am in any hurry to head up the mountain again, but I now know I can make it up – and back down again.

Are you in a time of your life where Plan B is not an option? Is there a challenge in front of you that fear is stopping you from addressing? Are you stuck at the top of a mountain with no seeming way down? Times like these are gifts to show you the courage you have. Here are a few tips to help you face your challenge.

Release “What If”: As I headed down the mountain, I was hit with a flurry of “what ifs.” What if I fall? What if I misstep? What if I break my head open during the next move? The “what ifs” held me back and kept me stuck. Truth is none of the “what ifs” were real. They were just excuses to keep from moving forward. Releasing the “what ifs” gets us out of our heads so we can continue to progress.

Focus on the Next Step: When I stood at the top of the mountain and looked down at the tiny little people and boats at the bottom, the climb down appeared overwhelming and impossible. To give me the courage to move forward, I only looked at the next step or series of steps I had to take. By breaking the challenge into bite-sized chunks I was able to move forward.

Get Support: Fortunately my husband knew what he was doing and was willing to coach me. But I had to ask. If I got to a point where I didn’t know my next move, I could be stuck there forever. Again and again I asked my husband not only for the next foot landing or where to put my hands, but also to be there for me. At different points, I told him I was scared and needed his support to have the courage to move. Knowing I was not doing this alone was an immense source of inspiration.

As we look toward the New Year, review your plans, hurdles, and challenges. What is the big scary mountain you need to head down? What are the “what ifs” holding you back? Are you ready to have the courage to take the next baby step toward your achieving your challenge?

If you are looking for support during your challenge, join me in Mexico (no climbing involved) to focus on your goals and how to accomplish them or why not sign up for a 21 Day Kick Start to give you the motivation to make a change.

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