What is the story you have about your life? What if that story were just one you had learned to believe, and right now you could choose another story?

Silently, in a long straggling line, the 27 workshop participants climbed over and around rocks, moving upward toward an unknown destination. Staying in silence was part of the exercise. There were places along the way where one could motion for help and other places where one had to receive help to traverse the uneven terrain safely. Hiking along about a third of the way from the front person, I became aware of how difficult it was for me to ask (even silently) for assistance. My father’s voice rang in my head, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” How many times had I heard him say that? Dozens perhaps hundreds. Suddenly I realized how limiting that idea was, the demands I had placed on myself because I believed it.

The group continued hiking upward in the warm California sun. Having never been much of an outdoor buff, I was aware that my leg muscles felt some strain, but the pace was slow enough that I could manage. And then suddenly we came to the top of the climb- a large flat outcropping, overlooking a valley at least 2,000 feet below, with the splendor of the Sierra Mountains in the distance. It was spectacular. “Definitely worth the climb,” I thought. We all stood in awe of the scene in front of us. I waited for the workshop leader to signal that we were starting down again.

Instead, Richard spoke. He was standing at the edge of the outcropping. As he spoke, my heart began racing wildly. “I’m going to invite each of you, one by one, to come out on this rock and stand silently looking out over the valley.” I looked at the rock he was pointing to- from where I stood, it looked like a very small flat rock jutting out from the large flat piece where we were all standing. Fear flooded my body. If I went out there, I could fall to my death! But already, someone in the group had moved to the small rock. This person stood there for several moments, then moved back. One by one, other participants went out on the rock and moved back safely. Although I had been in the first third walking up, my feet now seemed glued to the back section of the large rock.

Suddenly I remembered- I know about affirmations! I know how to use my mind! (Strange how we forget in stressful moments.) I began saying to myself, “My feet are sturdy and safe on the rock. I am safe. I am balanced and comfortable.” Thinking these affirmations to myself, I consciously breathed more slowly. Finally, number 23 out of 27, I stepped forward and moved out onto the rock. Amazingly, the rock jutting out now seemed quite large and perfectly safe. I felt exhilarated looking out over the valley. There were some timeless moments, and then I stepped back onto the larger section. It was then I realized how often in life I had let my mind tell me something was fearful, and I held back from doing it. How often I made up a scary story about something.

Walking back down the mountain, over and around rocks, it was easier, even enjoyable to ask for help. A higher level of energy pulsed through my body, a greater sense of joy.

How often have you let fear stop you from going for your dreams? Are you afraid you’ll fail, or look silly? At the end of their lives, people usually regret what they DIDN’T do. Today, take some step, however small, toward a dream you have. Go to the mirror and look in your own eyes and tell yourself, “The world is waiting for what I have to offer. I’m willing to go for it!”

Author's Bio: 

- Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D., is an author, international workshop leader and trainer. Her popular book, Ordering From the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations, is available on For information about her training program for workshop leaders, go to