Nearing the end, Andrew had gone home, and there was one gable to be painted, which I realised was up to me if it was going to be done at all. But I was only ‘just OK’ up to gutter level, it felt much too scary to go up to the gable.
With Sandy holding the bottom of the ladder I warily made my way up, carefully avoiding looking down at the receding ground.
At the top it felt precarious and scary, as I balanced the paint pot and held tight onto the ladder with one hand while stretching the other up to paint.
I realised this was ridiculous, since in my twenties I’d happily spent time rock climbing. Clearly I’d acquired this fear, so I ought to be able to un-acquire it.
I remembered a quick tool I could use in the moment. While continuing to paint I simply asked myself:
Why am I so comfortable at the top of the ladder?
I didn’t try to answer the question, simply repeated it a few times, and within a couple of minutes, I was indeed very comfortable at the top of the ladder. Magic – I was relieved and happy, my stress level plummeted and I relaxed into the job, even started to enjoy it!
However, seeing the distance to the ground as I descended the ladder, set off more fear, so I used another question:
Why do I find it so easy to go up and down ladders?
The magic worked again, and I happily went up and down several times to finish painting the gable.
Even better, the magic lasted! The next morning, much to my surprise, I found myself asking ‘What ladders can I go up today?’ A few days later I noticed I felt fine walking along the top of a steep sided gorge, and when a friend bemoaned the wayward rose that had climbed half way up her house, I was soon up the ladder pruning it back.
My fear of heights had gone, alongwith the associated stress it used to cause. This has to be good for my health!
My next Article will be a Quick Start for you to use this method yourself!
Meanwhile, if you’d like help to dissolve a fear, or other limiting feeling, please book a Session.