This week, I am sharing why and how it came to be that I climbed a 50-foot telephone pole while I was on my recent trip to Fiji! As many of you know by now, I was recently in Fiji for three weeks to get married and celebrate my honeymoon. As part of the plan, my husband and I decided to stay in Fiji for an extra week after our honeymoon to attend Tony Robbins’ Life and Wealth Mastery Seminar. For two personal development junkies like us, this was the perfect way to start our marriage! This seminar was an immersive experience where we got to learn tons of great stuff about maximizing and optimizing our health, emotions, and finances. On the very first day of the seminar, we were presented with the physical and emotional challenge of climbing a 50-foot telephone pole! Now, we were attached to a harness and were guided through the entire obstacle, so we were entirely safe; that being said, I definitely do NOT recommend doing this at home!
The question naturally arises though, “Why was a pole climb part of this seminar?” I had the same question at first! In fact, I knew this was coming because I had seen posts on social media of people who had attended the seminar in the past. I had seen their videos of climbing this pole and jumping off. I was actually nervous for days leading up to this event just because of this one part of the event! It turns out though, that I actually learned some of my biggest lessons of the entire seminar during that one pole climb!
Today, I am sharing with you my journey of the climb and the beautiful lessons I took away from that experience.:
1. A necessary part of growth involves stepping out of our comfort zone, but not into our shock zone So, the first lesson, was to move out of our comfort zone, but not into the shock zone. What does this mean? Well, any sort of personal growth requires that we step out of our comfort zone. It would not be called “growth” if we did not have to step out of our comfort zone. Yet, we also need to be mindful of where our “shock zone” is. In other words, although all growth requires moving out of our comfort zone, we need to be able to recognize when we are pushing our bodies into the “shock zone” of flight, flight, or freeze. When we push ourselves to this point, we send signals to our body that we are in danger and, as a result, our body can shut down from the sheer amount of stress. We do NOT want to reach the shock zone. We live in a society these days where it's a constant push to achieve, such that so many of us are living in a chronic daily low grade level of stress and our body’s sympathetics are constantly activated. We really need to be mindful of our body’s comfort and shock zones, so that we can experience growth without harming our body and mind. It is also important to recognize that the comfort and shock zone is different for each person. The trainers presented this in a really beautiful way of emphasizing that some of us may climb halfway up the pole, others may climb all the way up the pole, some may get to standing on top of the pole, and even others may jump off the pole to try to catch a trapeze! There were many stages to the climb and we were encouraged to find which one was right for us.
2. What is Your Outcome? My goal was to climb the pole and stand on top. I knew that this would be a hearty challenge for me to figure out how to get on top of this pole that has the diameter of a dinner plate! Personally, I did not care about trying to catch the trapeze; I just wanted to get myself up on top of that pole! So, this was the 2nd lesson: to determine the outcome or goal that was appropriate to me, without comparing my outcome to anyone else’s.
3. What is Your Intention? What does this challenge represent to you? For me, I had just gotten married and the pole climb represented me starting this new phase of my life. As the trainers described, when we go on a climb or a trip, we want to keep our bags light or even just leave our bags at the bottom of the pole. So, this pole represented my new life and I was leaving my baggage at the bottom! I was going to climb that pole and leap into this new phase of my life - boldly, courageously, and with a wide open heart!
4. What is Your Next Step? This last lesson is one that I have been reminding myself of every single day since the pole climb. The trainers described that when we are on that pole, different emotions can come up and, when that happens, all we need to do is ask ourselves “What is the next step?” When we take on a challenge or set out to achieve an outcome, it can often seem daunting when we are just looking at it from the bottom. Sometimes just the scope of what we are trying to achieve can overwhelm us! Certainly for me, I was nervous during the entire climb. My heart was racing and I was shaking even as I approached the pole to start my climb. I found it physically challenging and had to pause along the way, even though I wanted to rush to the top! But, I had to pause, breathe, and remind myself, “What is the next step?” I reminded myself of my outcome and intention as I focused on just taking that next step. How often do we come up with an idea of something that we want to do in our life, but it just seems so daunting? But, if we just start walking and just take that next step, before we know it, we're there! Before we know it, we have achieved our outcome. Or, at the very least, we have been living with intention.
So, there you have it, four things to remember when you set out for your next challenge or goal in life!