Many years ago, I found myself standing on the edge of a crane at a county fair in Iowa. Somehow, I thought it was a good idea to put on a harness, be taken up into the air a few hundred feet, and jump head first toward a giant blow up mat with the outline of a dead body staring at me on the way down.
I remember standing there ready to jump. Aside from the outline of the dead body, I saw hundreds of tiny heads looking up at me waiting for me to take the plunge. As I leaned over the edge I heard the guy in the crane say, “On the count of three let go. 1, 2, 3!” I said, “Nope!”
This guy was amazingly patient. He said, “Ok. Let’s try this again. This time, turn around and simply allow yourself to fall backwards on the count of three. 1, 2, 3!” I said, “No way!” Then petrified, I walked away from the edge to where my friend was standing.
My friend said, “Gina, you don’t have to jump if you don’t want to. It’s totally up to you.”
In that moment of choice, something magical happened. I just looked at my friend and said, “Nope.” Then I took a leap to the edge like I was on a high dive, and literally did a swan dive off the platform into the air! Scared to death one minute; the next minute I’m free falling head first.
I had never felt such freedom. Little did I know how life changing that jump would be.
Over the last 20-years I have found myself hanging over the edge of that crane hundreds of times. When I was deciding on whether to get a divorce, walk away from a secure job to start my business, have a baby, go to grad school, walk away from toxic relationships…the list goes on and on. And every time I’m faced with that “big something” that terrifies me, I remember the moment when I took a leap of faith and did a swan dive off the crane that evening in Iowa—and I remember how good it felt after I jumped.
I also remember how many times it took me to jump and why I finally jumped. That memory allows me to give myself a little grace and be patient with my own internal process as I navigate life. It also reminds me that I always have choice. That no matter how restrictive life may feel in the moment, there’s always an alternative. If one choice creates a feeling of restriction or limitation there’s always another option that will allow me to feel free.
For me, it’s not a matter of if I’ll jump; but rather, when I’ll jump. It may take me three tries before gathering enough courage to take the plunge, and that plunge may be in a completely different direction than I originally thought, but I will jump. And I’ll inevitably jump because I know how good it feels to be on the other side and free.
What are you waiting for? Jump.
Do what you love, and love what you do. Gina Soleil provides motivation and coaching for corporate executives. Through her fresh new approach to business, she teaches you how to become the happiest person you know WHILE performing better than ever and successfully mastering work and life. It’s time to live your best life now!