For those of you who have already seen some of the photos of Nancy, Lori, Laurie, Glenn and me skydiving, you are well aware that we did something that scared us most of us – jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet!
For me the scariest part was on the plane on the way up and just before the jump.
It wasn’t fear of the height, or even the fall.
It was the fear of the unknown.
I had never done it before, I wasn’t in control, and I couldn’t be sure of the outcome.
But if you think about it aren’t those common denominators in most if not all our fears?
Could be skydiving, could be doing a 5K, could be starting (or committing fully) to a training program, or could be trying brussels sprouts for the first time.
What if…? We think of all the negative possibilities, while rarely focusing on the amazing outcomes that could, and many times does occur.
I’ve had the blessing of a number of first over the past few years.
- I lost 100 pounds for the first (and last) time.
- Did my first 5K.
- Had my first (and second) daughter (Yes I know Nancy did the hard work)
- Married off my first (and second) son.
- Did my first Spartan Sprint, Warrior Dash, Renegade Playground Challenge, and Tough Mudder.
- Jumped out of an airplane.
- And many more I can’t think of right now.
Each of those things caused me unnecessary anxiety (isn’t all of it unproductive and unnecessary?)
- What if I don’t reach my weight loss goal?
- What if my time is too slow (for what?)
- What if there are problems with the births?
- What if the girls wise up and back out?
- What if I break my neck? (That would apply to both the runs and the skydiving)
Wouldn’t it have been more productive, and wouldn’t I have enjoyed myself more if my mindset was totally focused on the positive?
- I am going to look and feel so much better and be so much healthier when I reach my goal!
- This will be my benchmark for improvement for next time!
- I can’t believe I am going to have a daughter after four boys! How cool is that?
- I am so proud of my boys for becoming fine young men marrying amazing women!
- I am doing what most guys my age (or any age) wouldn’t dream of doing, with the woman I love. What a blessed life I have!
And while all those thoughts went through my mind as well, I am sorry I let some of the negative creep in there too, because none of the things I was worried about happened, and even if they had, worrying wouldn’t have stopped it.
I am not saying you shouldn’t plan, prepare and consider outcomes. But don’t live life being paralyzed by the fear of the unknown and “what if’s”. That’s no way to live. It will suck the joy out of everything you do, and we need all the joy we can get.
So what thing that you have been afraid of are you finally going to do?
What fear are you going to overcome?
What challenge are you going to tackle?
How are you going to Make It Happen?
Love to hear your thoughts!