It was a beautiful Autumn day with warm sunshine and a light fresh breeze. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to complete painting the outside of our house before the winter arrived.
Having completed most of the painting already I was very accustomed to climbing up and down the double ladders which allowed me access to the very top eves of our house.
I was happily up and down, happily whistling and painting, together with admiring my ‘Sistine chapel’ type work when one of my friends happened to pass by. We exchanged pleasant ‘hello’ and jokes. It was then that my friend started to describe in great detail about his fear of heights and how he could ‘never ever’ climb up as high as I was at that moment (top of the house). he also went on to give all the reasons for his fear of heights and the risk factors of DIY ladders, how his uncle had fallen and broken both legs..etc. His advice was that I should not be that high and I should leave it to a ‘professional’.
Whilst I appreciated him stopping by to say ‘hello’, together with his health and safety briefing, I found myself starting to feel decidedly nervous about how high I was and thinking about all the potentially nasty things that could happen if I fell off. I realise now that this was a bit silly, as I had been up and down the ladders all summer with no problems. However, I had allowed my friends fear of heights to influence my thinking.
After taking a break, I finished the painting and put the ladders away.
How many times have we all unintentionally given rise to fear in others by influencing their thinking with our own fears (rational or irrational)?
What is too high for you, might not be too high for others.