This I Believe

Sharlene - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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When I was a bit younger, I had attended a friend’s birthday party. When I arrived I learned that one of the activities was rock-climbing. I had a fear of heights and refused to attempt it. I stood back, viewing the other girls try to reach the top of the rock climbing walls. I soon felt a pang of jealousy fill my body as I observed their cheerful faces, laughing and soaking in this new experience. However, I was still afraid of going to such great heights. Then I realized that I might never have a chance to do this again. Did I really want to miss that opportunity because of a silly fear? It’s not like I was going to stumble and fall anytime soon; there was plenty of safety equipment and adult supervision. So, I collected my courage and prepared myself for the ascent. I imagined myself climbing up a mountain, determined to reach the pinnacle. After climbing a few minutes, I suddenly felt a burst of emotions! I received an adrenalin rush knowing that I conquered my fear and it did not stop me from missing out on an exhilarating experience. I felt like I was on top of the world, doing something not all people have the chance to do. Of course when I was almost near the tiptop, I had to look down. I suddenly realized how high up I was and immediately asked to come back to the ground. Even though I did not reach the very top of the wall, I’m glad I at least gave it a try, so when I look back on it, I wouldn’t have to think what if? That personal experience has taught me that you only have such a small time here and you should never let fear get the best of you. I now like to think of life as a rock-climbing wall as well. You can either be afraid of living it out to the max or be brave and take chances.

Other people in the world have conquered their fears as well, which have led to greater things. They are inspirational proving that conquering your fears can be life changing and lead to success. These people include my parents, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, etc. If my parents hadn’t overcome their fear, I wouldn’t be in America, let alone be receiving one of the best educations in the country. If Amelia Earhart didn’t overcome fear, who knows when the first woman might’ve crossed the Atlantic; she proved women could do anything men can. If Neil Armstrong didn’t overcome fear, we might have never reached the moon; triumphing over his fears let him prove humans are capable of doing what was thought to be impossible. We should always remember that life flies fast and you have to embrace it, trying new things, which may lead to the best experiences of your life. I believe in overcoming the fear to try new things.