3 Life Lessons I Learned While Going Out On A Limb (And That YOU Can Too)!

Are you scared of heights?

When I stood outside on the balcony of my 27th-floor apartment building in New York, I wasn’t.

I LOVED looking out over the busy New York City skyline from above.

But ask me to walk across a horizontal log suspended 25-feet high off the ground – and then back again – and that’s another story!

3 Life Lessons I Learned While Going Out On A Limb (And That YOU Can Too)!But that’s what I did while visiting Miraval Resort & Spa in Tuscon, Ariz. several years ago, when I participated in their outdoor challenge activity, Out on a Limb.

(You may remember my talking about my experience with Miraval’s Swing and a Prayer in an earlier post.)

That’s me, to the right, walking across the log.

(Trust me, even though you’re harnessed, you still feel very much like a free-floating tight-roper walking along this very narrow surface!)

To Really And Truly Live And Learn, Sometimes You Must Go Out On A Limb…

I had signed up for Out on a Limb because I thought it would be good to push myself. 

But I gotta tell ya’…

That morning, as I walked with my group of about seven other people and the guide to the activity site in the desert, I was nervous as heck.

No, scratch that…make that terrified!

I mean, 25 feet is a long way to fall, right?

After the group had a brief debrief and it was time to start, I raised my hand to go first.

Call me brave if you want.

I call it being so nervous, I wanted to get it over with!

As I approached the ladder to begin climbing the 25 feet to the log, I felt my heart pounding so strongly, I thought it might literally come out of my body.

Pausing when I got to the top, I slowly made my way across the log – and then back again – and I’ve never felt so great in my entire life.

I did it.

(And, by the way, my then 65-year-old mom did it too…pretty awesome, right?)

3 Life Lessons I Learned While Going Out On A Limb (And That YOU Can Too)!

Of all seven group members, only one member fell (and, even in falling, she learned things too).

Today, I thought I’d share a few life lessons I learned while going ‘out on a limb’ that perhaps can help you too.

Life lessons like these…

: | Ask for the support you need – in the way you need it.

When I first started walking across the log, my wonderful group members were shouting words of encouragement and support. Lovely, right? Really, it was.

3 Life Lessons I Learned While Going Out On A Limb (And That YOU Can Too)!But it wasn’t what I needed in that particular moment.

Making my way across that log – and battling the nerves and trepidation that came with it – required every ounce of focus and concentration I had in my little body.

And what I needed in that moment was pure silence.

And, so, I asked for it.

And I got it.

And I made it there and back without falling.

Your take-away? People want to help. Let them. But don’t be afraid to ask for support in the way you need it. Because any other kind of help is, well, just plain unhelpful.

: | Practice the two B’s.

When I first got to the top of the ladder, I not only felt nervous, but also overwhelmed.

After all, I was still facing having to go the WHOLE way across the log and the WHOLE way back.

Here’s where the first ‘B’ comes in…

‘B’ number one = Break it down.

If I was going to complete the activity successfully, I had to break the entire task down into smaller, more manageable steps.

Focus on just the first half of the first stretch, I told myself…done.

Then focus on just the second half of the first stretch, I told myself…done.

Rest before I turn around and go back across the log, I told myself…done.

Pretty soon, I had gone there and back without falling.

But I couldn’t have done so without the second ‘B’, which is…

‘B’ number two = breathing.3 Life Lessons I Learned While Going Out On A Limb (And That YOU Can Too)!

To help keep my nerves in check, I had to continually breathe as I was making my way across that log.

I had never really been too into meditation or breath work, but taking deep breaths helped me stay just nervous rather than panicked!

Your take-away? Whether in life or at work, break large projects into smaller, more doable tasks. And don’t forget to breathe along the way.

: | Go at your own pace – not anyone else’s.

I was going to take as long as I needed to take to walk across that log and back – not how long others thought I should take.

Call me stubborn, but I was going to go at my pace – not anyone else’s.

If I rushed myself because I thought my fellow group members wanted me to hurry up so they could have their turn or started to worry that maybe I was going slower than the next person would, only one thing would happen…

I would, most likely, fall.

In our society, it can be so hard to give yourself permission to go at your own pace, but I hope you’ll follow my lead and allow yourself to do so.

Your take-away? Stop making life a competition with others. Compete only with yourself, so that YOU become better each day. {<– Tweet this!}

:: ::

You know, going to Miraval was more than just going to a spa.

I truly feel so blessed and fortunate to have been able to experience the resort twice and I hope I’m lucky enough to be able to go again one day.

More than getting pampered, I learned invaluable life lessons.

And I hope that, in reading this post, you did too.


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To living life out on a limb,



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