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  • When I was 20 and in college I joined the climbing club and began to learn how to climb and scale rocks and rock formations. In doing so I learned how to make strategic placement of my hands and feet. I found some ways that if I moved my body I had more leverage. I also found ways in which I was able to scale the rock quickly after many attempts and failures.


    What I didn’t realize the first time I went up the rock was that the belayer could see ahead of where I was and I could only see grips when I was upon them or would stretch in the direction the belayer would suggest. My failures and slip ups usually were because I took hold of a different set of grips than what my belayer had recommended. I found the desire to do it myself in conflict with what the belayer was relaying to me.

    Climbing, I would slip, and have to readjust, and felt like I was going to fall off the rock many times. I would let those mistakes in climbing hinder my next climb when I would replay the missteps. The typically downward spiral that ensued usually kept me from reaching the apex.

    Sometimes in life we carry just one thing that can erode our sense of identity without realizing it. One mistake can take us to a place of self doubt, which can quickly deteriorate to massive insecurities. This is a downward spiral that is very difficult to stop and regain control.


    We need to remember that the downward spiral always has a crack or crevice in the surrounding ground that we can take hold of if we can just have enough faith to reach out. Reach out to the friend you can talk to, reach out to the relative that’s always been there for you (my belayer); to reach out to God.

    We build a narrative around what our experiences are and say about us. Our experiences can be of great value to look into in order to see the potential God has for our future. We are able to think through things we’d do differently not in order to beat ourselves down or punish ourselves but to continue to change and grow our character into who God created us to be.


    Accepting who we are comes from accepting that in every circumstance we find ourselves in we are able to do the best we can in that moment – no more. To look back with 20/20 hindsight and say we should have done something different is one thing but to say we could have done something different is just not true. In the future we can do something different, but in the past when we found ourselves making decisions we were only able to decide based on the information we had at the time, no more-no less.

    It took me several trips of climbing before I was able to reach the apex. The more I began to trust my belayer, the more I began to trust myself and the easier it became to reach the apex. I had to believe in two things, first myself and then my belayer. Once I got that formula in place, climbing became a joy.

    Sometimes it takes finding more answers through mistakes before you can learn to trust like this. That’s why many people end up in counseling -looking for those answers. Once those answers are fleshed out, it becomes much easier to reach our aspirations.

    Embrace your mistakes in life – they are the map to your future success.


    Would you like to speak to someone in person, call (850) 757-1552. Our team of professional therapists are dedicated to their clients’ care and services Fort Walton, Niceville, and surrounding communities.