When Things Get Rocky

Categories: Members

Jake KnightThis past weekend, I attended a weekend Christian retreat called Breakaway, located in Oklahoma just a few minutes from John Brown University. On the second day of the retreat, we had four hours of free time to fill. My close friend invited me to climb the rock wall that afternoon. I quickly rejected his offer with no explanation. He questioned me. I told him the about my humiliating fourth-grade experience, causing me to avoid rock walls for 10 years of my life. He and my other friends at the lunch table challenged me to conquer my fear of rock walls. My fear of humiliation. My fear of failure. I accepted the challenge.

That afternoon, I walked over to the rock climbing area to scope things out. Everyone was scaling this wall without a problem. I was motivated and encouraged by their success. This shouldn’t be difficult at all.

My turn. I situated the harness and the helmet, said a quick prayer, and stared at the task before me. My friends behind me cheered me on as I grabbed the first rock. The worst possible thing happened – I never made it past the second foot hold. It felt impossible as I flashed back to the fourth grade where I hung in humiliation. I tried over and over again, close to 20 times. My friends never stopped cheering.

After cutting my hand on the rocks and facing muscle exhaustion, I quit. In that moment, I felt like a complete loser, but the people around me made me feel like a champion. I walked away from the rock wall knowing that I did my best and that there was room for growth.

Working on a project in Enactus is the same way. We experience rocky situations. We experience problems that seem inescapable.

The key to leading an Enactus project is knowing that challenging obstacles are inevitable, but we have our teammates, BAB advisers, project managers, and officers to encourage us along the way. They catch us when we continue to fall over and over again. They help us get back in the right direction. I am confident that, just like my friends at the rock wall, my Enactus teammates and leaders will always cheer me on no matter what obstacles my project faces.

From this experience I have learned that we should do things that seem impossible, that will challenge us. If we fail (and we probably will at first), then we have room to grow and develop new skills that will assist us in the future. Usually the idea of taking a risk scares those people who have such a strong desire to succeed. We all want our Enactus projects to be successful, right? That means we try to make wise decisions and strategically think through every detail of our project. Sometimes we have to go out on a limb, not knowing whether we will succeed or fail. And when we succeed, we rejoice with one another. When we fail, we encourage one another. I am thankful for my Enactus team.

  Jake Knight

  Sophomore, Accounting Major

  ADC Project Leader

Author: EnactusJBU

Seeing Opportunities - Taking Action - Enabling Progress

4 Responses to "When Things Get Rocky"

  1. Rolando Serrano Posted on October 1, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Totally proud of you, Jake! You definitely are a man of God and I certainly know that just as this situation challenged you, your skills and great heart will make you succeed in areas you would have never imagined. Being open-minded to learn is such a great attitude towards life. Best wishes!

  2. Dani Rivas Posted on October 1, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Jake, you are such a great inspiration for all of us around you. Thank you for challenging us to go after things though we may fear faillure. Keep it on! You are an awesome leader!

  3. kristina Posted on October 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Jake, this blog makes my heart worm. Thank you for being so awesome!!.

    • kristina Posted on October 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      And warm…

Leave a Reply