Do you remember being at a public pool and diving off the highest diving board for the first time? If not this scenario, when have you ever had to spend a lot of time and work very hard to find the courage to finally take an action that seemed frightening at first? Sit with these memories for a while and notice how you feel.
Did you feel relieved, exhilarated, proud of yourself or still frightened, vowing to never do that again. Do you still feel this way or have you changed? Whatever you feel, honor it. Never say, “I shouldn’t feel this way.” Instead, ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way?”
If you’re like me, skiing down a bunny slope for the first time was an excruciating experience, not only for me but for my parents. My mother told me that she was at the bottom of the hill watching me as I was at the top of the hill, frozen in place, immobile, for what seemed like the longest time. I vaguely remember this moment and also remember finding enough courage to start down the slope. Somehow, I made it down the hill and went on to become a pretty good skier and an even better snowboarder! I managed to overcome my fear of literally falling on my face in front of others as I grew older.
It was a different story when it came to the actions that required me to stand up for myself. I had the hardest time saying “NO” when I should have and I worried incessantly about upsetting people and what others thought of me. I didn’t have a strong sense of self and my self-esteem was almost non-existent. This is where I needed to find the answers to the question, “why do I feel this way?”
I found the answers to this question and as a result of the work that I did, I found the courage to take the actions that were needed to change my life. This meant that I had to feel sure that what I was choosing to do was right for me and I had to be willing to upset a few people because I knew that certain people would be very upset. I had to be able to sit with the extreme discomfort of saying “YES” to myself and to a life worth living. When I took these actions, I felt relieved, exhilarated, liberated and proud of myself. I also had to practice sitting with this type of discomfort, over and over again, until I learned that the world wouldn’t end if I said “No” to you and “Yes” to myself.
Once we move into action, every step that follows gets easier and makes sense. If you’re wondering how I moved through the changes I made in my life, just watch these two videos. If this inspires you to find the courage to take the action you’ve been delaying for too long, congratulations! If you want to explore this with me don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s talk.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.