I have spoken with so many brave people that have gotten up the courage to take big risks. Taking on a larger role, speaking about something controversial in front of a large audience, leaving a toxic environment, or moving away from those we love in search for better opportunities. I like to use the metaphor of "diving into a cold pool of water". Leaving your comfort zone for perhaps, a better place... but knowing it will be a major change and adjustment to what we know now.
Some of us approach this bravely by putting one toe in the water and slowly wading in until we decide our bodies can handle the new environment. Others just run in... pulling off the band aid of change quickly, and hoping that all will be better just soon after the shock wears off. Either way works and is a brave and courageous act of trying something new.
However, some of us never go all in. We put our toe in, feel the new temperature and turn away. It is cold, it is uncomfortable. The place we are in right now doesn't seem all that bad, does it? Sure the water looks amazing... but maybe when we go in it will be terrible and we won't be able to sustain the cold and freezing temperatures! Most of us know from experience with this metaphor. Once we are in, we are so happy we did it. We can't even believe that we sat there contemplating whether this would be a good decision. It is beautiful! We feel alive, we feel courageous, and we feel proud of ourselves for making the choice.
When standing at the edge ready to dive in and not sure if you should make the plunge, consider these 3 things (metaphorically of course):
1) Remind yourself what drew you to the pool in the first place.
Sometimes when standing on the edge of a big decision, we tend to forget why we even got to this point in the first place. Normally we are here because of a long list of reasons or desires that have pulled us to this point. Looking to take on a larger role but not sure you can handle it? A few months ago, you may have been bored and / or longing for more personal growth. You may have worked hard for many years with the ambition to lead a larger team... Now you are here, and it is YOUR time to take that leap!
2) Imagine yourself in the future after you have made the dive.
What does success look like from here? What are the values you are upholding by making this decision? What are the positive emotions you will feel once you are in your new environment? By envisioning success and steering away from negative thoughts, we are more likely to put the energy necessary into making the change.
3) Remember that there are always steps back out of the pool.
Nothing is permanent. If the new environment is not for you, there is always a path back. Or perhaps if not back to the exact same spot, there will be a new opportunity which will open. Your future encounters will be happy to hear your story of courage and learnings that will have been woven into your life journey.
In my experience, I have not met ONE person who has made a courageous life decision and then regretted it. I hear story upon story of brave people making brave choices and reaping the benefits. When you follow your heart, good things will result. Even if it doesn't work out as expected, it was a life experience that brought new teachings, new pathways, or new opportunities. The one thing that I hear most often..... " I can't believe I didn't do it earlier." It took courage ..... AND fearlessness. And those 2 words are easy to say, but more difficult to put into everyday practice.
If fear is holding you back from making the choices you desire to make, who can support you? Some of us need a comforting hand to bring us to the edge. Who will give you that push you need? What would be possible from that new place?
The cool water is waiting for you.... so get ready to dive in !