What’s the difference between quitting and failing?

I give up in order to avoid failing.

For me, that’s often the first time something goes wrong,
or when things seem too hard,
or I don’t know what to do.

I think I’m going to fail,
So I just hit fast forward and quit.

I never knew this about myself until I was clinging to a tree trunk in Tahoe last week.
(You learn a lot about yourself when your lifeline is a rope connected to one Life Coach,
and a Master Coach is reading your mind as if it were an X-ray!)

Here’s what I learned:

When I quit to avoid the possibility of failing, I am ensuring that I fail.

Let me back up a bit:
Annual Life Coach School Certified Coaches Retreat
Spectacular Lake Tahoe
Squaw Valley Adventure Center Ropes Course
This is NOT your average ropes course –
I’ve done treetop trekking in the rain, no problem.
I don’t scare easily.
Somehow, this course is different.
It’s designed to push your own unique buttons.
Their logo is “Altitude Adjustment” – a play on Attitude Adjustment.
A playground for discovering where your inner work is.

Before I began, Brooke asked me how high I want to go.
I said I would go as high as I could.
“Are you sure?” She asked.
If you know Brooke, you’ll understand when I say I revised my goal to
“I want to go further than I think I can”
(Physically, I could go all the way.)

After about five minutes,
The very first time I wasn’t sure where to put my foot,
I said “OK I’m ready to come down now”
(you need your belayer to lower you)
Brooke: “really?”
Me: “yes”
Brooke: “what are you thinking?”
Me: “I don’t know what to do next”
Brooke: “and what would you do if you did know?”
My resistance (aka my mind) stepped aside and I scampered up about two more feet.

“OK I’m ready to come down now”
“What are you thinking?”
“This pole is in the way. I can’t get past this pole”
(it intersected with the tree I was climbing).
“How can you use the obstacle in your way?”
Obviously.
The apparent obstacle was my support.
The pole was my next handhold.
It was my only way up.
It wasn’t an obstacle at all, other than in my mind.

“OK I’m ready to come down now”
“What are you thinking?”
“This foothold isn’t stable”
“Yep, sometimes it won’t be completely safe”
or, as Jessie, the really cute owner of Altitude Adjustment (and honorary coach) put it:
“Sometimes this is as good as it gets”
Acceptance of what is.
Up I went.

And on and on we went.
I was shocked to learn how many times I am so willing to quit,
When I can clearly go so so so much further.

Besides learning what an absolute wimp I am,
Brooke blew me away when she said:
Every time someone says “I’m done, I want to come down”
It’s because they’re afraid they’re going to fall.
BUT coming down IS falling (the only way down is to jump and then the belayer lets you down slowly – which is exactly what would happen if you fell!)

Great metaphor for me, for my life as a mother, wife, daughter, friend,
And solopreneur with so many exciting ideas waiting to be birthed.

I’m not going to do it anymore.
If I fall, it’s because I fell trying.
So look out for some very exciting new offerings that I’m going to develop this year.
If I perceive an obstacle, I’ll figure out how to use it to propel me forward.
If I don’t know what to do, I’ll do what I would do if I did know.
If I get scared, I’ll remind myself of the unbeatable satisfaction I got
from being willing to dangle midair and go beyond my mind’s imagined limits.
Knowing that the worst thing that can happen is that I’ll learn a whole lot about myself
on the way to where I’m going.

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About Forever Free with Bev Aron, Certified Weight Loss Coach

I work with emotional eaters who desperately want relief from emotional eating, but can't seem to do it on their own. They know they need to eat less and move more, but can't figure out why they aren't doing it. My specialty is showing them the why and the how. I also work with parents who are worried about their children's weight. I help those parents encourage their children to have a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food.
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