Every time I'm at a water park, it happens at least once.
Halfway up the stairs leading to the tallest water slide in the park, some kid makes a firm but passionate decision that he will not be going down that slide.
Somewhere between the bottom of the stairs and roughly halfway up, that kid went from, "This is going to be awesome." to "Dad, get me off this death trap, or so help me, I'll take you and all these people down with me."
The kid set a goal to go down that slide, and even though he was halfway there, somehow, the closer he got, the more fear he felt.
Many of us react the same way at the first taste of success.
Whether that success is in your health and fitness, relationships, career, or otherwise. When you get halfway there, shit gets real, and you flip out.
This is where you start to sabotage your own efforts, make weak excuses, and tell yourself lies about how you didn't really want it in the first place.
This is what they call fear of success.
But it's not really fear of success is it?
It's fear of failure, on steroids.
See, the higher you go, the farther the fall.
Failing when you've just gotten started isn't a big deal.
You took a step or two in the direction of your goals, slipped up, and you're back where you started.
Big deal. This doesn't scare you.
But what if you pour your heart and soul into it? Dedicate every fiber of your being to it? Open yourself up and leave it all out there, and, shit...
... you're almost there.
But then you slip up, and fall all the way back down to where you started.
This is what scares you. And this is why you put the brakes on when you sense you're flying too high.
Like Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, you don't want to get burned and fall all the way back down to earth.
But this fear is normal. In fact, this fear is necessary.
Like a beacon, it tells you you're moving in the right direction.
The funny thing about the Icarus story: we always talk about the risk of flying too close to the sun.
But no one mentions the risk of flying too low.
The risk of flying too low is regret.
Pushing through your comfort zone, risking failure, and reaching new heights is scary.
But living with the regret of not trying at all is downright terrifying.
When you get halfway up your own personal water slide, and that fear kicks in and all you want to do is haul ass back down to safety...
... embrace that feeling, take your next step, and smile, because you know you're heading in the right direction.