There are times when desire and commitment drive us out of any comfort zone we could possibly imagine.
Manley Feinberg II thought about that fact one day as he stared at a wall of rock in front of him in the Aksu Valley, one of the last frontiers of big-wall rock climbing, located in the country of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia.
Feinberg, a business leader, motivational speaker and author of “Reaching Your Next Summit,” was about to take on one of the greatest challenges in this adventure sport. But before he could do it, he had to put faith in a Russian colleague named Dima who suffered a seizure only hours before the climb.
Dima served as Feinberg’s belayer, the one who uses a small metal device known as a belay to control the friction of a climber’s rope and save him if he begins to fall.
“The belay allows climbers to safely accomplish what seems impossible,” Feinberg says. “The same belay principle can be your secret weapon in life where someone can help you stretch your own comfort zone and reach toward higher summits while encouraging you and saving you from the falls you will inevitably encounter.”
Feinberg says the business leaders he often advises and anyone else looking to accomplish lofty goals can use their own belay system and reach beyond their comfort zone. He offers these six tips for doing just that:
• Get a safety system in place. Climbers, like anyone looking to accomplish big things, expect to fall on the way to reaching their summit and that’s why they use a belayer. “Before beginning the climb to your new goal, you should have processes in place to allow for your inevitable mistakes.” Feinberg says. “Your own personal belayer that provides a safety system for when you fall.”
• Be sure to have just enough rope. A belayer must feed a climber just enough rope to allow him to move in a desired direction. You’ll want partners in business, and in life, who give you enough rope to climb and room to grow.
• Avoid too much rope. A partner also shouldn’t give you too much slack because when you fall, the impact is going to be even greater for both of you.
• Don’t let your belayer hold you back. A belayer must feed you just enough rope as you move along. However, they can hold you up if they aren’t giving you enough slack to move. Identifying a belayer who is holding you back in life and disconnecting from him or her can be one of the most courageous and productive actions you will ever take.
• Find a partner whose actions are immediate. When you fall, which you will if you try to accomplish goals beyond your comfort zone, your partners must be fully present for you, just as a belayer must lock off the rope right away when a climber begins to fall.
• Focus on reassurance after the fall. A good partner will help you recover and get back at your endeavor as soon as possible.
“When executed consistently, the belay lesson will have a dramatic impact on your life,” says Feinberg, who recommends those looking to accomplish bigger goals should start their day with two questions: “Who do I need on belay today?” In other words, who can support me to help me accomplish my goals? And, “Who will I belay today?” What individual needs my support the most today?
Manley Feinberg II (www.VerticalLessons.com) is an award-winning international keynote speaker, business leader and author.