I made a new friend this week. I named him Rascal.
Rascal comes back several times a day, everyday.
I have a great view of him from my couch and can sit and watch him for 10 to 15 minutes a day while he plays and discovers the world around him.
Each day, he gets a little more courageous.
Today, he sat on the edge of the table for about three minutes before he finally made the plunge to the deck just 4 feet below him.
As I sat there watching him this afternoon, I thought about my own life. How many times have I been on the edge of the cliff, ready to jump, but I didn’t?
Have you been there? You know, when your head and your heart don’t agree whether you should jump or not?
Rascal had to work up the courage to jump, and so do you and I.
The more we jump and land on our feet, the more comfortable we will be with taking calculated risks and jumping into the realm of the unknown.
I have missed out on so many incredible opportunities in my life out of fear of the unknown.
When I was in college, I was one of 16 students accepted into the prestigious Washington Journalism Center. I let a few logistical hurdles (and a whole lot of fear) stand between me and actually attending and learning among some of the best communicators in the country.
Please don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t allow fear to sidetrack you for years. Don’t allow fear to keep you from enjoying the joy of taking the jump and landing on your feet.
There were a few things that kept me from jumping at 22 years old:
- Other people and their opinions about what I should or should not do. Many people have opinions about our lives. Some have our best interests at heart. Some are selfish. Others are envious. Don’t let others influence your jump unless they are genuine friends and are giving you wise advice.
- Logistical and practical reasons. There will always be reasons why your dream doesn’t make sense. There will always be something “smarter” you can do with your time, energy, money, etc. Exercise wisdom, but don’t allow common sense to keep you from experiencing the joy of the jump.
- Self criticism. I was convinced I didn’t really deserve to go to D.C. I was almost positive I only got accepted because of my network. Relationships are a part of the journey. Embrace it and move on. Also realize that relationships often mix with skills and character to produce opportunities. Ignore that stupid annoying voice in your head that says you are not good enough. I was a committed writer and editor at the Cardinal & Cream, one of the top ranked college newspapers in the nation.
- Fear of failure. More than any of the other stuff, I was afraid to fail. I was afraid some really important editor would look at my work and tell me I didn’t deserve to be in D.C. Most likely, I would have failed, but I would have succeeded much more.
Most importantly, don’t let fear send you in the other
direction, away from your dream. I never went to Washington, D.C., and I will forever regret missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Today, I challenge you to find a dream and jump.
Don’t you dare run away.
Don’t put it off for one more day.
Don’t let the voices in your head keep you from experiencing the joy of jumping off the cliff.
You are reading this blog post as a result of my decision to ignore fear and jump at my dream with gazelle intensity. I have made a conscious decision to punch fear in the face everyday while I hustle at this blog and building a brand for myself.
What is a time in your life when you regrettably didn’t jump at an opportunity?