Fear is Necessary!

InApril 2018, I had an unforgettable experience backpacking around the Philippines. I started in Cebu City, and worked my way around Palawan. It was, at that point in my life, my most memorable experience.

Full of new culture, people, language, food, you name it, and I experienced something new in relation to it.

In a previous post about my trip, I spoke about a few situations where I felt fearful

Andโ€ฆ upon assessing the situations, realized the only reason I was nervous, hesitant, and all the other words we use that relates with โ€œ๐—™๐—˜๐—”๐—ฅโ€, was because of the story I was making up in my mind.

There was no imminent danger or threat.

The thoughts, and story, came from a lack of understanding, assumptions, and to a degree, my own ignorance.

But I digressโ€ฆ

One thing that I was looking forward to on this trip was cliff diving. Seeing as how I loved skydiving, bungee jumping, and previous cliff jumps, I was ready to do it again, on the other side of the world.

I could already see me making a jump in my head!

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—œ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ต ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—œ ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น๐—น ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ด๐—ฒโ€ฆ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ท๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜‡๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜ ๐—บ๐˜† ๐˜€๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป, ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—œ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ

๐—”๐—ป๐—ฑโ€ฆ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฒ, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—ด ๐˜€๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—œ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐˜‚๐—ฝ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฟ, ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ต๐˜€.

This experience, among many others, were high on my list.

About a week into my trip, I arrived in El Nido, which is known for its island hopping tours, andโ€ฆ in some areas,

Cliff diving.

Excited for a day of island hopping, we were met with heavy showers to start off the morning. Like the US postal service, rain or shine, we kept going, and Iโ€™m grateful we did. Because, as quickly as the showers showed up, they vanished.

With the sun out, clear blue water, and stunning rock formations all around us, it felt like paradise. Itโ€™s hard to describe the naturally beautiful scenery in Palawan.

After visiting multiple islands, there had not yet been an opportunity to climb and jump off a cliff, or rock formation.

Worry not, for my chance was coming.

The day carried on, and our guide told us it was time to head back to the main island, and of course, I was disappointed.

That was untilโ€ฆ

We came across a gathering of two boats, next to a rock formation off to the side of the main strait.

Signaling to go check it out, we approached the other boats, and I could see that people were climbing a rock, and it appeared that they might be jumping off it.

Once we stopped, I dove into the water and swam towards the rock.

As I approached, I could see what was actually going on, multiple people climbing the sharp rocks to the top, debating with each other who would jump off, and then most of them turning around and climbing back down.

Be it ego, or my sense of โ€œ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฆ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ฆ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘™๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘๐‘’โ€ (likely some of both :)), I knew that I could make the jump.

As I approached the top, my hands scraped up and bleeding from the climb on the sharp rocks, I had my first glance over the ledge, and my body started responding in a way that it hadnโ€™t during previous jumps.

๐— ๐˜† ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐—น๐˜† ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ

๐— ๐˜† ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ด๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—น๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ

๐— ๐˜† ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐˜€, โ€œ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ท๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฝ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜, ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ปโ€™๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐˜โ€

And, my head was right. This jump was different from previous ones.

๐—” ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜.

#1 ๐‘Œ๐‘œ๐‘ข ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘™๐‘‘ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘’ ๐‘Ž ๐‘๐‘–๐‘” ๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘˜ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ค ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฆ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘๐‘™๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ ๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘“๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘’

#2 ๐ผ โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ก ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘ก๐‘ข๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™๐‘ฆ ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘˜๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘—๐‘ข๐‘š๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘“๐‘“ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘๐‘–๐‘“๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ก ๐‘ฆ๐‘’๐‘ก

#3 ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘™๐‘’๐‘‘๐‘”๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ข๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘“๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘”โ„Ž ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘ข โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘—๐‘ข๐‘š๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘’๐‘š๐‘–๐‘›๐‘”๐‘™๐‘ฆ ๐‘ โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ค ๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘˜

As I drew nearer to the edge, and dragged my legs through the imaginary quicksand, I was unable to tell how far below the surface the rock actually wasโ€ฆ

At this point, I did my own โ€œ๐’‡๐’†๐’‚๐’“ ๐’‚๐’”๐’”๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’•โ€.

In this situation, there was, staring me in the face, a potential threat, that, should my assumption about the depth of the rock be inaccurate, I would be in serious trouble.

We were miles away from a hospital, surgical team, or really any way of getting help, should I or anyone else get hurt.

What seemed like minutes of me standing on the rock, assessing, was really just a few seconds.

And the results?

I decided the cons associated with this jump, an actual jump, far outweighed the benefits, when taking into consideration all of the variables I mentioned.

In short, I decided, for the first time ever, to back down from a dive, or something considered โ€œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘˜๐‘ฆโ€. As I climbed back down, two things happenedโ€ฆ

#๐Ÿญ ๐—œ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜ ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ผ, ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—œ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ โ€œ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฝโ€

#๐Ÿฎ ๐—ข๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ด๐˜‚๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐˜, ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ผ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜‚๐—ฝ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—œ, ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐˜. ๐—›๐—ฒ ๐—ท๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ.

And you know what?

He made it.

Kudos to him, because even at that point, my mind was made up.

That rock covered a larger area than that one guy. So, with my bruised ego and bloody hands, I made way back to the boat.

You know, looking back, Iโ€™m still glad I didnโ€™t jump. Not just because of the potential risk, more as proof to myself that Iโ€™m able to assess my โ€œleapsโ€, prior to, and in the moment. A skill that Iโ€™m grateful to have.

Not to mention, being able to let go of my ego a bit, which has gotten me in tight spots in the past.

I often hear conversations about ๐—™๐—˜๐—”๐—ฅ in extremes. Either weโ€ฆ

๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป, ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ด๐—ผ ๐˜„๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด.

๐˜–๐˜™

๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ธ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€, ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt stated,

โ€œ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘’ ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ก ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘“๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ, ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘’๐‘™๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘–๐‘š๐‘๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ก ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘“๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ.โ€

And, I want to take this a step further, and breakdown the term โ€œ๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘›๐‘กโ€. That means we are considering the variables. We are looking at a specific decision, from multiple angles.

๐—ช๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ธ ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€

๐—ช๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜

๐—ช๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€

๐—”๐—ป๐—ฑโ€ฆ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜‚๐˜€, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—˜๐—ฆ!

To me, this assessment is the middle ground between hiding our way through this one life and looking back at it later in regret,

๐˜–๐˜™

Taking blind leaps, that lead to pain and anguish, that may not be easily overcome.

Personally, I prefer the middle ground, like my cliff jumping story. Even though, I have certainly been one to hide away, leap blindly, and now more frequently, properly assess.

At the end of the day, my backing down from that rock was harder for me than I anticipated, but after I ran my assessed it, ๐—œ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—บ๐—ฒ. And thatโ€™s something only I can decide.

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