• Sharna Rule. Season Two, Episode One Family Rules. (Metamorflix )Source: Metamorflix
OPINION: This time last year, Sharna Rule made a New Year's Resolution to face her fear of heights. Twelve months later, she reflects on her journey.
Sharna Rule

23 Dec 2018 - 10:45 AM  UPDATED 23 Dec 2018 - 10:50 AM

Think about the thing that terrifies you the most. Maybe it’s snakes, or spiders. Or maybe you’re like me and are petrified of heights.

What I’ve discovered in the past year is that if you’re afraid of something, the best thing is to face it head-on.

Look at the calendar. We're on the tail end of December— Have you worked out your New Year’s resolutions yet? You’d better get cracking.

I’m Sharna Rule. I’m 22 and I’ve had a fear of heights since I was a little kid. So to challenge myself, this year I put hot air ballooning on the top of my bucket list. 

Signing up for this was not only frightening in general, but I had the added stress that it was going to be a big, public thing. Because my family is on TV. We’re the nine-sister family in Family Rules. That means that when I planned to go sky-high with my Nana and some of my sisters, it wasn't in the private comfort of my family we would have a TV crew filming us.

The day finally came. I’d woken up early because that's when hot air balloons fly, but also to straighten and put my hair extensions in. When you go places, you always need to look good— hot air balloon, or whatever.

I was so scared. I wanted a pen and paper to write my will. In case I died, I told mum I loved her. And if died, at least I'd die knowing my hair looked good. 

The weather was incredibly stormy that day. So, just my luck really the moment I'd been leading up to for months was too dangerous to fly in according to the balloon pilot. We weren't going up. There was nothing I could do about it.

I decided I’d face my fears another way. Nana suggested abseiling. I thought it would be okay, as I’d be in control given I'd be the one holding the rope.

When we arrived and I saw that big cliff— like, big —I began praying, “Lord, please help me get through this, let me be alive after this day.” 

Walking up the 60-metre cliff was so scary. It was humongous. I was looking back at my mum and my sisters and thinking, they’re going to witness me die. I was the most scared I had been in my life.

I couldn't do it.

Everyone had come to watch and I just couldn't do. I felt really bad. In my head it was easy, going down a rope, but that's just it— it’s high and it’s just a rope holding you.

But my mum and sisters were proud of me and in their eyes, I didn’t fail. I had accomplished something by going to the clifftop.

But I'm stubborn, and I wanted to prove a point. I'd made a promise to myself to and face my fears, so I'd have to do it another way. So I climbed the Big Staircase in Perth.

I did it.

And I did it for myself and I was very proud. It’s the best feeling ever. Mum reckons taking my fear head on has done wonders for me.

I would say if there’s something you’re passionate about and you want to do, and if it becomes your New Years' resolution, take as many times as you need to complete it.

I didn’t do mine the first time, or the second time. It was the third time and it was still just as rewarding. It was the best feeling ever. You're proud, feeling like you’ve accomplished something.

It also made me feel uplifted to have such a great support system, with my family.

I’m not going to lie, I'm still scared of heights. But I’m not scared as I was; I know it can’t hurt me and that it’s something I’ve got to work on over time. I’m not going to go climbing the Harbour Bridge or anything though.

For 2019, my resolution is to go on a lifestyle journey; going to the gym and eating well. I’ve lost some weight and I’m going to keep that going, to be a better person mentally and physically. I also want to experience something new, with different cultures and I want to save up and travel the world.

So if there’s something you’re really passionate about, make a resolution and take as many times as you want to complete it.


Sharna Rule features in the NITV reality-style documentary series, Family Rules.  

NITV will air the complete Family Rules Season One on Christmas Day from 7.30pm and Season Two on Boxing Day from 7.30pm on NITV (Ch. 34). Watch both series on SBS On Demand.