Opening Doors with Kim

Kim Ades of Opening Doors lets you in on her frame of mind.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Glass Floor

I had a friend visiting from out of town and I wanted to show him the sites of Toronto – the CN Tower was a natural destination. It was an awesome sight, the tallest structure in the world.

We stood in line for 45 minutes with hundreds of other sightseers to ride the elevator up to the first lookout point – approximately 1500 feet above ground. We walked around the outside of the tower and took notice of the hard wire fence firmly attached to the building structure acting as a barrier to prevent people from jumping. We went back inside to look for the famous glass floor that provided a direct view to the ground below the edifice. As we approached, we came to a halting stop one step before walking right onto it. My friend found that his legs began to shake as a result of the fear of looking down from such a height. While there were many people standing on it, sitting on it and even lying down on it, still many were standing on the boarder of the glass floor not quite ready to take that step. I too paused for a moment contemplating the step, taking a few seconds to peer over the edge before making a move. And then I had a conversation in my head:

“It’s a floor like any other floor. In fact, it’s probably far sturdier than any other floor in this building. There is no danger – it’s simply an illusion. Look at all the people already standing on it – they’re not scared. And think about all the people who have stood on it before – probably millions. This is safe.”

I proceeded to take that step onto the glass floor. I did not look down - at least not for a few minutes. We were a long way up. I walked on the floor and looked around and thought about how cool the experience was. I even found myself jumping up and down. There was no danger, it was truly an illusion.

I began to look at the people around me and watched their fear and I watched how some of them were paralyzed standing on the edge not daring to take that step. I thought about how many things in our lives we are afraid of and how many of them are equally illusions. I thought about all the things we stop ourselves from doing because we have tricked ourselves into thinking there is risk. I thought about all the things that I still have yet to do that appeared scary and I thought about the mirror test. Not the one that brokers sometimes use when they hire agents; the one that you use when you are 80 years old and look back on your life and decide whether or not you have any regrets. I was glad to see that while fear is not a stranger to me, my desire to live a life without regret has a much stronger pull.

So here is what I do…

1. I allow myself to feel the fear.

2. I ask myself what I am fearful of.

3. I contemplate whether or not I want to live life with this fear and if not; I take a breath and forge ahead.

4. If the fear is too overwhelming, I write it down, break it down, and move it out of the way by imagining myself living the event without fearing it.

What do you do?


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