Facing Fears and Finding Focus

What Rock Climbing Taught Me

I wanted to share a little adventure I've been on lately. It all started when we gifted our 10 year old a rock climbing workshop for her birthday (and her brother got to go along, too!).

To me this was one of these secretly genius parent moves - rock climbing is a really great activity for mental wellbeing, focus, emotional regulation and of course building confidence.

Little did I expect that this would turn into a challenge for me to hang on the edge of my comfort zone and actually learn how to secure them and even climb myself.

The thing is, I am scared of heights. On the day of the kids' climbing workshop, as my kiddo was doing her first climb up, I couldn’t look and immediately told my wife that this will definitely not become a family sport. But then I gradually got used to it. I focused on their excited faces, and kept looking up for practice.

At the end of the workshop it was clear that they absolutely loved it and wanted to do this more often. And all of the sudden I found myself thinking that getting a top rope climbing license and taking them out for climbing myself would be a very sensible thing to do.

I know it is so cliché - but being in that rock climbing hall really did bring out a wish to face my fears and gain trust and confidence.

This week I completed my training - and I have already taken my kids out to climb! This whole experience has been a game-changer in boosting my confidence and theirs, too.

Rock climbing really lets you practice gaining clarity, acting courageously, and pursuing your goals.


1. Gaining Clarity:

In rock climbing, gaining clarity is often the first step towards achieving your goals. Just like when I stand at the base of a towering climbing track, you may find yourself at the base of a daunting life challenge.

The key is to take a step back, assess the situation, and define your objectives. What do you truly want to achieve? What does success look like for you?

Rock climbing teaches us to visualize the path ahead, identify the holds, and plan our ascent. This process of gaining clarity can be applied to any area of life, from career transitions to personal growth.

2. Focus and Impulsivity:

One fascinating aspect of rock climbing is its remarkable ability to support focus and stabilize impulsivity. It's intriguing to witness how individuals with ADHD, both kids and adults, often excel in the climbing hall (and by the way what a great activity to safely engage in risk taking). Climbing demands intense concentration, which can serve as a valuable skill in managing impulsivity and enhancing focus. Just like on your own growth journey, recognizing and harnessing your unique strengths can be transformative.

3. Mindfulness and Emotional Wellbeing:

Rock climbing offers a unique blend of physical and mental challenges, promoting mindfulness and emotional wellbeing. The climbing experience demands that you be fully present in the moment, leaving no room for distractions or worries.  For individuals dealing with stress or ADHD, it can be a somatic release that soothes the mind and nourishes the soul.

In conclusion, I've discovered, rock climbing provides a unique opportunity to practice the skills needed to climb the metaphorical cliffs in our own lives.

I know climing is not everyone's cup of tea - so I invite you to explore what ignites your own passion and courage, what anchors your focus, and what brings you emotional stability.

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Joy Zalzala-Soyka - Portrait Photo

Hi, I am Joy, my mission is to empower individuals with complex experiences to find clarity within themselves and act courageously in their life. I coach people to overcome fears of failure, reconnect with inner guidance, and craft practical steps to achieve their goals.

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