You know how it goes. There's a section of your favorite trail that is so difficult that you can barely even hike it in cycling shoes. You refer to this section as "the last pitch of El Capitan." Then, one day, as you're dismounting your bike for this section, you hear a bell ding behind you and, to your complete astonishment and horror, a stranger rides past without breaking his pace or his face. Then you might discover that all of your friends ride this particular section. When you show a picture of this section to your grandma, she says she cleans it on a unicycle. So then you get up your courage and you attempt to ride El Capitan, and then for the next few months you refer to the section as "the place where I broke my helmet" or "the place where front wheels become Pringles." A few months pass. Something very weird happens when you arrive at this section. You clean it.
One year later, as you ride this section, it occurs to you that it once seemed difficult and made you anxious, and now it's just a bump in the trail. When other people talk about "the terrifying shin-tenderizer" it takes you a minute to remember what they're talking about.
Getting better at something is usually a difficult thing to detect. Am I a better person this year than last? I wish I knew (or maybe I don't). While I'd hesitate to say I'm a better person because I can now clean "section faceplant," it is important to experience improvement.
Click on the pictures below to watch Biggity absolutely kill a tricky switchback. Confidence + 10.
Remember: you can do it. If not now, someday (though you can probably do it now). As the weather is getting colder you'll be wearing more clothes anyway, so give that tricky switchback a try.