Overcoming fear

Have you seen Alex Honnold’s TED Talk?

Alex was the protagonist in Free Solo, a movie about one of his climbing pursuits. He’s famous for free soloing, as the movie title says, which is rock climbing without gear.

Normally in rock climbing, one wears a harness that is tied into a rope that is secured to something else, so if the climber falls, there’s a way to catch them.

In free soloing, there’s no rope or harness.

(In bouldering there is also no rope or harness, but boulderers don’t climb very high, relatively. A fall is going to cause some solid damage but unlikely to be lethal.)

So anyway.

Alex climbs hundreds or thousands of feet up walls without a rope. Mistakes are lethal. Unless there’s a ledge, there’s no rest.

(Not my jam.)

But the interview was interesting because he talked about fear.

There have been many things that I’ve been afraid to do in my life. I’m getting better at pushing through that, because most of the fear is unfounded.

Climbing a 3,000-foot rock face without a rope? That fear is not unfounded.

His solution?


Prepare until it’s part of you.

(Obviously only applies to that which can be prepared for.)

“Doubt is the precursor to fear.”

Have no doubt; you’ll have no fear.

Good advice.

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