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A lot of people see me as someone who is pretty brave. I’m fairly independent and self-sufficient. I run my own business. I’m always busy with one thing or another. I, however, don’t see myself as particularly bold. I have been stopped by my fears a million times. When it happens, it feels like coming to the end of a short tether. I’m charging headlong into a project or the execution of an idea and, boom, I run out of rope and I am abruptly pulled up short. I get virtual whiplash. Take for example, the time I was going to pitch myself as a speaker at a major women’s conference. I was really excited. I could see myself standing in front of a room full of women. I made some notes about what I would propose and then, suddenly, I slammed on the brakes. The force of my self doubt and inner fears about not being good enough stopped me in my tracks. I buried that dream and moved on. That’s just one example. I’ve been living that way for a long time. When I was a senior in high school, I was supposed to spend six months living with a family and studying in France, but I chickened out and stayed home in my small suburban town instead. I’m still regretting that one, almost 40 years later. Each time I start something and don’t carry it out because of fear, I regret it.
So, sometime last spring, I decided it was time to put an end to that. I thought that going skydiving might be just the thing to do to push me past my debilitating fear. Up until that moment, skydiving was something I thought I wouldn’t do in a million years. Now, I was thinking it was the answer to my challenges. In a conversation with one of my clients, she told me of the many situations in which fear had kept her from doing things she’d wanted to do and I shared my idea about skydiving with her. She was intrigued. Two days later, we each got a Groupon in our inboxes for half off skydiving and we knew it was meant to be. I asked others if they wanted to go and got a variety of responses ranging from ‘are you crazy?’to ‘I’d never do that but you go girl’ to my dear 75 year old friend saying, “I’m in!”
So last week, the three of us headed off to Sky Dive Pepperell, filled with excitement and trepidation, open to whatever our adventure would reveal to us.
And an adventure it was! Sheer exhilaration and joy! Not even a fraction as frightening as I had anticipated.
Here are some of my ‘ahas’ and take-aways:
What life goals are you not reaching? What are the fears that are stopping you? What big bold move can you take to overcome them?