We’ve all been there, teetering the dizzying edge of something potentially incredible. Each of us have peered down from such great heights and felt our muscles lock, our mind pleading with us to come away from the dangerous unknown. These are the moments that define us.
Over the last week I've found myself wobbling precariously on that edge more than once. My mind (my logic) was in hyper drive sorting pro’s and con’s, making lists and trying to reason with my heart but in the end my heart would have none of it. I know what kind of life I desire to live. I know that to leap might be terrifying, but to stay would be death. And a slow one, one where every moment a piece of my soul-- the vibrance and heartbeat of my very existence-- would be put to death on the alter of comfort and control. I know that to stay would be to sacrifice growth for safety, and while I can entertain the idea I recognize that choosing to stay is not an option.
So we breathe deep. 1, 2, 3. Leap.
Flip the bird to fear (mostly because, humor. let's laugh a little.), and take that step knowing you are not alone. Freefall knowing that whatever happens you will be better because of it and even when you crash land (as we all do when learning to fly) you will not be broken. Be brave knowing that growth is beautiful, albeit painful at times, and take heart as you are not the first, nor will you be the last to leave that ledge.
As a hopeful help, here is what I learned when I leapt:
1. I am capable.
When I finally leapt I realized that I can.
2. It’s not about the outcome, it’s about the leap itself.
I feel that a lot of the time the act of leaping is not about what comes after. It’s typically about breaking down the barriers and walls that have kept you from the edge for so long. Each leap we take is in an effort to gain ground and create a freer sense of self. We are clearing the runway for whatever is ahead. Remember that space is needed to create the momentum to fly.
3. I am only responsible for my own growth.
In instances where you are asking another person to leap with you (business, relational or otherwise) there must be an understanding and acceptance of every eventuality. Sometimes people are not ready to leap, or perhaps the time is not right. You are only responsible for your own growth. Honor their choices, even if you don’t agree with them. Even when it's heartbreaking.
4. Doubt is strongest in the freefall.
When you are tumbling through the great unknown, it’s there that you will question everything. Be prepared for this. Find your focus-- the heartbeat of why you jumped in the first place-- and allow yourself to tunnel vision on that. Do not concern yourself with the personification (the person, the job, the destination) of your leap, but rather the growth (vulnerability, honesty, adventure, risk, trust, faith, etc) you were pursuing over the edge. Your responsibility is to yourself (and to God if you’re on that path). Rest in that while you are falling, you’ve already won.
5. It's never a waste to take the leap.
Regardless of what happens I don’t believe the leap is ever a waste. It’s all about perspective. We either choose to take the positive or the negative from every situation. Naturally I think humans cling to the negative, but there is no denying that in every situation there is a nugget of goodness and beauty should we choose to see it.
Ask yourself if this has/will help you grow. Vulnerability? Terrifying. But do we become better for it? Absolutely. Faith, trust, acceptance, understanding— all of it creates in us a bigger, deeper sense of self and from that place we are better able to love those around us.
6. A leap is an invitation.
When you leap, you are inviting others to do the same. We’ve all heard it, “if so and so jumps off a bridge are you going to as well?” the answer, while we are taught should be no — is usually yes. especially if it’s your friend. The courage to take growth on is contagious. We love a challenge. And we love having overcome something great, even if the process is the shits. The invitation to be courageous is enticing, especially when we carry joy in our hearts as we do it.
So leap. Leap not just because you grow, but because with it you are creating a blueprint for those around you — your friends, your family… the world — to do the same. Let’s be better, bigger, wiser and more together.
as always, stay wild