How walking off the side of a building helped me start projects I was putting off

Last week I literally walked off the side of a building, face first with a rope tied around my waist.

Walking up to the edge, I remember being quite calm about it all and thinking “Yeah, I can do this. I’ll just not look down until I’m over the edge. I’m in safe hands”.

As I stepped on the ledge, I took a brief moment and peered over. What a bloody f*cking mistake. My natural instincts to survive kicked in and I became a tad….hysterical. 

I screamed and cried…NO, I DON’T WANT TO F*CKING DO THIS!!! GET ME DOWN.

My heart was beating so hard I felt like it had ripped out my chest. I felt the biggest pains in the pit of my stomach and was on the verge of throwing up. 

With a pale white face, I retreated off the ledge and said I couldn’t complete this challenge. 

I took a seat and watched on as each of the team members walked over one by one. Oddly enough, each time I watched their scared faces and bodies go over the ledge and then hear their laughs of triumph at the bottom, it gave me more courage to try again.

I calmed myself down and repeated in my head: I can do this. It’ll be fun. I’m in control. I’ll feel proud after.

So I worked up the courage again and walked off that edge. I screamed, I swore and then laughed with tears in my eyes.

I couldn’t believe that I did it. That adrenaline rush was insane and boy, did it feel damn good. THIS WAS HOW IT FELT TO BE ALIVE!

The most interesting part of this whole experience was the reflections I had afterwards. I compared this experience with all the times I worked on a new significant project or idea. The process I mapped out is something like this...

  1. You come up with an idea that sounds like fun.
  2. You work up the courage to do it.
  3. You experience the moment you’re about to take that leap.
  4. If you hesitate too long, your mind tries to talk you out of it.
  5. You feel that fear and allow it to stop you.
  6. But you observe other courageous people do it.
  7. You work up the courage to do it again.
  8. You do it.
  9. You did it.
  10. You rejoice and feel the rush.

Having had this physical challenge conquered, I went back to work with a sense of courage to take on new ideas that I had put off for the longest time...because I was fearful. Dude, if I could walk off the side of a highrise building, I can tackle that new worries.

I highly recommend trying some heart-racing, positive adrenaline rush activity to put things into perspective if you're having problems getting a new project off the ground. 

If abseiling off buildings face-first is not for you, here are other ideas to help push you outta that comfort-zone:

  • Cryotherapy chambers and freeze your body for 3 minutes
  • Singing karaoke on stage in front of strangers
  • Indoor rock climbing
  • Running a half marathon
  • Post up a video of you dancing (check out #ZFTUESDAY)

What have you done lately that has made your heart race and alive afterwards? I'd love to know.

Stay peachy!


Sheryl Thai, CEO
League of Extraordinary Women

Sheryl Thai