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How To Believe It Then See It


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A while back I used to do lot of rock climbing with a co-worker.

Different climbs have different lengths.

The measure of a climb is how many "pitches" it is.

One pitch is essentially the length of a rope.

The first guy that goes up "leads."

He carefully puts in the pieces of protection, or "pro."

Then he loops the rope through these pieces of pro.

The guy on the ground slowly feeds the rope up as he climbs.

So if the lead falls, he'll fall twice as far as the last piece of pro.

Since he's got to fall past it until the rope catches him.

Anyhow, my friend would always "lead" and I would always "follow," as well as "clean."

Cleaning means taking out all the pro, and clipping it onto your harness.

One day, as we were getting ready to leave, he said, "Hey, I want to show you this one climb. It's pretty easy, only one pitch."

It was also a face climb, which meant it didn't have any huge holds or ledges.

You had to go pretty quickly, and make sure you were balanced carefully.

Most rock climbing walls you'll find in gyms and other places have HUGE hand holds and foot holds.

(Called "bomber jugs")

Face climbs don't.

You have to accurately "read" the face.

And you have to move quickly. No resting. 

Anyway, my friend knew I was TERRIFIED of face climbs.

They were very much a mental, inner game.

One stray thought of anxiety and you'd start sliding down.

So he told me it was a 5.5.

They measure climbs just like they measure earthquakes.

On a logarithmic scale.

A 5.5 was pretty easy for me.

So he goes first, I follow.

And it did seem pretty easy.

My friend was grinning the whole time.

I get to the top, and he siad, "Wow, you walked right up that."

Meaning I didn't pause and look around.

Very much the "flow state" of just acting without thinking.

"Yeah," I said, "it's only a 5.5."

"Actually," my friend said, "I lied. It's really a 5.9."

Now, a 5.9 was something I'd NEVER done.

Let alone a 5.9 face climb.

Had he told me it was a 5.9 face climb, I NEVER would have tried.

But because I THOUGHT it was easy, it was easy.

Just like everything else.

So long as you don't let those stray thoughts of fear and worry creep into your mind, everything's easy.

So, what do you do?

Find a friend that will always trick you?

When it works, it works.

Or you could systematically find all the fears in your brain, and kill them before they sprout.

Pull them out at their root.

Because without any fears holding you back, EVERYTHING becomes easy.

Learn How:


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