This past week, I stood on the edge of an 80-story building and was told to jump off.
I couldn’t do it.
Fear gripped my entire body. My legs were shaking. I was breaking out in cold sweats and drooling. My voice broke. I was actually holding back tears.
“I’m going back in the elevator,” I said out loud. “I want to go back down.”
After doing my best attempt at telling myself that I would be alright, that I could overcome this fear and take the leap, I retreated backward, ashamed that my feeble brain was so badly tricked by this new Virtual Reality experience.
It wasn’t real. But wow, did it feel real.
And I didn’t–I couldn’t–jump even though I was safe on the ground, surrounded by friends.
Our brain is a pretty powerful muscle, and much like our heart, it can’t always be trusted. It can make us believe we’re not safe. We must run. We’re not going to survive this day. This hour. This moment.
We will. But it might mean that we’ve got to face our fears, step off the ledge, and avoid the retreat.