Master Your Fear: How Rock Climbing Transforms You From the Inside Out

By method

Failure is a part of life. Often, it’s a painful part of life, so much so that we develop complicated ways to get around it. We avoid situations where we think we might fail, or we only do things we already know we can do rather than tackling something a little more difficult. But the truth is that we can never avoid failure altogether, and the longer we try to do so, the more it will hurt when it happens.

Studies have shown that remaining open-minded to the possibility of failure helps people become more creative. If failure isn’t a catastrophic event, you will be more inclined to try new things. But learning to accept failure as a part of life isn’t always easy. There’s a lot of emotional baggage associated with failure, and that means we have to work hard at rewiring our brains so we view failure as a stepping stone, not an end point. 

That’s where rock climbing comes in. Climbing helps you overcome that deeply ingrained fear of failure by giving you a safe place to fail and motivating you to keep trying.

How Rock Climbing Helps You Punch Fear in the Face

Just about everyone deals with fear of failure. As a student, you may fear failing in your academics or social relationships, or you may fear that you won’t achieve specific life goals. As you consider your future, you may fear failing in a job, failing your family, or failing in your financial decisions. If you don’t learn to overcome this fear, it can keep you from taking the next right step in whatever situation you’re facing.

The good news is that for most of us, failure isn’t our biggest problem. Fear is. And rock climbing is the perfect environment to help us overcome that fear. Here’s how. 

  • Learn from your mistakes – Mistakes happen. When you’re climbing a wall, you’re going to get stuck. There are times when you just can’t go any farther. Those are the times you go back to the beginning and try something different. Every time that happens, you’re learning. You’re honing your problem-solving skills (and your climbing skills) and you’re getting better.
  • Stop caring what others think – When you’re on the wall, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. All that matters is whether you are going to keep going or quit. If you’re committed to the process, you’ll accept that you haven’t mastered it yet and you’ll keep learning.
  • Join a supportive community – Rock climbing boasts one of the most supportive communities you’ll find anywhere. Other climbers are nearly always willing to offer pointers, provide encouragement, and help you think outside the box. As you experience these positive interactions, you’ll gain confidence to step outside your comfort zone and take on the next challenge.
  • Learn to focus – Climbing is a physically demanding activity, and it requires laser focus on what you’re doing and what your next movement is going to be. Many climbers use a technique called “centering” to help them let go of fears, frustrations, and past failures, and stay in the moment. As you set aside all the fears and worries of the day, you’ll learn how to focus not only when you’re on the wall, but in other areas of your life as well.
  • Improve your mindset – The physical work of climbing has been proven to help people manage their emotions, reduce anxiety, and even reduce the symptoms of depression. The thrill of accomplishment and the mental clarity required for climbing helps develop coping mechanisms and regulate emotions as a contributor toward mental health. 

Why Indoor Rock Climbing Is the Best Way to Start

If you’re ready to give rock climbing a try, an indoor rock climbing gym is the best place to start. Climbing indoors gives you all the benefits associated with climbing, while reducing the risk. Because you’re working in a controlled environment, you can tackle new climbs and work through challenges without fear. 

At Method Climb, we offer many options for developing your climbing skills, building strength, and overcoming challenges. Whether you’re brand new to rock climbing or you’re ready to tackle the next level in your skill development, we’ve got classes, training programs, and coaches ready to help. We also have a full range of fitness equipment so you can cross-train on the days you aren’t climbing.

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