Tackling my fear of heights

I am afraid of heights. I am 6 foot 7 inches tall, and afraid of heights.

I recently realized the extent of this fear, when I gave myself the task of cleaning the rain gutters. My girlfriend and I moved into our first home together, nearly 2 years ago, and it is the first time we have ever had to clean the gutters. Up until then, we lived separately, in middling floor apartments.

Anyway, here I am, with my ladder propped against the side of the house, determined to clear the debris. I made it to 4 feet from the ground before fear took hold. It felt like an eternity, frozen part-way up a ladder, nowhere near where I need to be. I descend, shaking all the way down. It took me three attempts to climb up the ladder, to then give up. I was defeated.

A few months have gone by, avoiding any thoughts of trying the ladder again. That was until I came across a podcast episode, Bravery by The Habit Coach. This inspired me to try again, and the perfect job was lined up, to wash the windows.

The weekend came, time to tackle this fear head-on. Armed with the equipment I needed, I ascended the ladder to victory. Don't get me wrong, I was still afraid and my actions, unsophisticated, but a victory none the less. The difference between this time and the last was my war cry, "1, 2, 3, Go Go Go!" I said over and over in my head.

Fast forward a few weeks now, and another task requires me to climb the ladder. Same height as the windows, but this time, screwing a small fixture to a wall. This is when I noticed a big difference in my confidence. With a mutterance of "Sod it, let's go", I climbed that ladder first time, no stalling. The ladder felt more natural, like an extension to the rest of me. Climbing back down the ladder felt a little undignified, but that did not worry me.

What worked here for me is a little inspiration to make me tackle my fear head-on (Thank you to the Habit Coach) and to repeatedly go at it.


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