Walking the Precipice While Pursuing Your Art

Aaron McHugh

photo by ashokboghani

Have you ever stood on a precipice?

In the high mountains of Colorado you can find them.

They can be very steep, rocky, catwalks across the sky.  On one side the ledge gives way to a thousand foot drop over a series of connected troughs and boulders.

On the other side, a sheer drop hundreds of feet down.  Most people would rather have a rope connected to them and a belay as they carefully pick their way across the precarious terrain.

This dance across the sky might seem like a stroll that you would never do.

Let me increase your vision.

You are already doing this and without a rope.

Each day that you step forward, pursuing your Art or new business venture or athletic feat you are walking the precipice.

Great beginnings always start with risk.

You stand on the edge of a great beginning with the hope of reaching your goal, accomplishing the mission, building the team, raising the money, finishing your first marathon (the other side of the precipice).

You are more courageous than you realize.  With each step you take you are exposing yourself to either side of the precipice.  On one side, there is a chasm of your own fears of failure.

On the other side, everyone else’s fears of your potential failure (your family, your friends, your boss, your investors, your partner, your team mates).

Don’t listen to everyone else’s fears.

Let’s see if any of these may sound familiar……

“It can’t be done”.

“You’re too old”.

“Don’t waste your time and money on that”.

“Nobody will pay for that”.

“What will your boss say”?

Keep walking.  Keep stepping forward an inch at a time.  It’s even worth taking in the view, as scary as it may seem for a moment.  Feel your pulse pounding in your throat.

You don’t have a rope.  And it’s halfway forward or halfway back.

You might as well go forward.  It’s the same dangerous distance in either direction.

In the mountains, we wear a rope when crossing these sections of a route.

In life, there often isn’t a safety net.  Stand tall.  Don’t listen to the swirling echo of the wind coming up either side of the precipice.

Your almost there.

What catwalk in Life, Business or Adventure are you walking today?

  • Good stuff McHugh…

    This is my 5th year with New Wilderness Adventures and moving into it I heard all of those things and more about how crazy our family was for leaving a secure job to do mission work with US Men.. really? US Men.. lol.. yeah, Satan had a field day..

    I hold onto James 1:12: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

    • aarondmchugh

      Greg Great words. Keep going. You are walking well bro.

      Sent from my iPad

    • Allison appreciate that distinction. When I attended Seth Godin’s Medicine Ball session last year we talked a lot about the Lizard Brain. The part of our brain that wants to protect us, keep us safe, no changes…only safety.

  • Very good word Aaron! Hits home tonight in some big ways. Thank you!

    • Glad to hear it Sam. An easy visual for us here in Colorado huh? I like the idea that once you are half-way your half-way to your goal or half-way to turn back to the beginning. Keep going.

    • Allison Crow

      I think I’m past the precipice of what the world says…past the fears of the others…and now it is just me an my inner doubter…oh wait…me, my Inner Whisper (my Sacred Self) and that inner doubter. Now it is just me and my fears. And each and every day I get up and decide not to believe them.