Sister: “What are you afraid of?”
Me: “umm, plummeting to my death!”
Sister: “You can do it, just jump, you saw me do it, I’m fine. You’ve got this!”
Encouraging words from my sister standing on the ground looking up two stories to me waiting on a platform to belay down.
I sat there listening and trying to get my courage up to jump. I coached myself, I listened to her coaching and in the end….
I unhooked my harness and traversed the course back to a platform I could walk down from.
My whole career these days is helping people make leaps! I help people do the scary things they are not quite sure they are ready for.
One of the best reasons to have a coach during these times is that – guess what? Sometimes you are not ready and it’s just not the right time.
Having someone to encourage you and walk with you as you move through your process of collecting your thoughts, building your courage and thinking through your risks is the best gift you can give yourself. Sometimes no matter how much courage you muster, the big leap is not right at this moment.
This doesn’t mean the big leap may not be right ever, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do other things that are smaller leaps that will prepare you for the big one or any combination of things. What it does mean is that you get both the encouragement to stretch yourself beyond what you think is possible while still honoring exactly where you are at the moment.
This is a critical piece that doesn’t get talked about so I want to shed some light here.
When you arrive at a point where it is time for change and you begin the process you will come up against some challenges. Some of these you will plow right through and feel great about. Some will stop you in your tracks and make you question yourself, your capabilities, your sanity, etc.
This is how I work through these times because yes, even coaches get to these points and this ropes obstacle course just reminded me about the emotional part of what I do for a living and how I live my life in general.
Remember what you have accomplished
First and foremost to even get to the point where you are thinking of taking a big leap deserves a celebration. Reflect on what you did to get to this point – it is highly likely you have pushed your comfort zone a bit already. Don’t discount that part – celebrate it!
For me, just to get to the second story platform getting ready (or not) to jump off meant that I had crossed all sorts of unstable rope bridges and taken a bunch of leaps that were pretty scary for me! Even turning back and not belaying down meant I had to traverse more obstacles and challenges to get to a stable staircase to the ground. I was not choosing to walk away from challenge, simply choosing what challenge I felt capable of in that moment.
It’s at these crossroads that we can be terribly tough on ourselves. We can be a big ole bully to ourselves.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t help me move forward, it simply makes me feel bad about honoring my feelings and my choice in the moment – that is not ok!
Originally my bully came out and I thought to myself – what kind of a coach are you? You tell people to make the leap all the time! You teach people move through their fears to push their comfort zone and here you are stuck!
I thought – well, if I jump and overcome everything I’m fearing I am a prime example of what I teach! This will be walking my talk and people need to see me doing this and hearing how courageous I am to feel that they too can do anything!
However, I also preach about living life for yourself and not to please others or meet anyone else’s expectations at your expense.
I then asked myself would replay this moment and feel regret. This ended up being a really important question for myself.
With this question moved into a much more gentle place and realized just how courageous it can be to walk away from the thing you are not sure you are ready to do. I thought of this decision as a strength equal to the decision to leap. For me I saw no regret in not leaping…today. In the future I might come to another opportunity and feel more ready and I will welcome that, but I didn’t feel like I would regret this decision in this moment.
I also felt like if I dishonored myself by doing what I didn’t want to do and got myself hurt I would thoroughly regret not having listened to my “gut” to not jump.
These are important questions and processes to go through as you face new challenges. It is often very hard to determine intuition from indigestion –protecting yourself from harm vs. fear of doing the unknown (first kiss living).
Finding Your Courage
So if you find yourself at a crossroads I encourage you to work through a process, here are a few questions I think my help:
Am I doing this for myself or someone else?
Will I regret doing or not doing this? And Why?
Is this my intuition telling me don’t do it or am I letting fear or story keep me stuck?
Of course I must say, I also encourage you to have a coach to help you work through your process and help you listen to yourself, honor your stage and develop the skills and capabilities to build up to the leaps you desire.
I still have no regrets for not jumping and I believe I make as much of an impact helping people realize that sometimes it is not time to make a leap as I do helping people leap into incredible lives they have dreamed about.