By Laura Wallace | September 10, 2018
About 15 years ago, I developed a burning desire to parachute out of an airplane. Why? I couldn’t really tell you, other than I was a thrill seeker and wanted to experience the rush. It seemed extreme and crazy, therefore, why the heck not? At the time, it wasn’t really an option, but when AJ and I got married he promised me that one day he’d make sure I did it.
Fast forward to 2018 – my father in law is just as crazy as I am when it comes to experiences. He also had a burning desire to jump out of a perfectly good airplane so we set a date and made an appointment. Now I have to tell you that the idea of jumping 11k feet sounded a lot better when it wasn’t a real, scheduled thing. The second AJ called and said, “You’re booked for this weekend!” I thought my stomach was going to come out of my throat. It went from an idea to something real and I had committed to doing it. Gulp!
The morning of the jump came and I was all sorts of messed up. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do it but I also didn’t want to look like a sissy for backing out. I paced the floor, my heart raced and I took at least three trips to the bathroom. But then I got the call that the sky was too cloudy and we couldn’t jump. Fun fact, it’s illegal to jump through clouds, just in case you ever find yourself jumping around in the sky. I went from being super nervous to pretty bummed out. It was ok when I was stopping myself, but now that someone told me that I couldn’t do something that I longed for, I was pissed. Now that I COULDN’T do it, I wanted it more than ever.
We rescheduled for the next day, the skies turned from cloudy to the perfect shade of blue and it was go time. After waiting 15 years to do this, it was finally here. I got my training, suited up and headed for the airplane with my instructor and videographer. The ride up was pretty interesting as I had 20 minutes to think about my life’s decisions but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. We got to altitude, my tandem instructor locked us tighter than super glue and we went over the rules one last time. I was ready. I was pumped. And then they opened the door.
Friends, I went from laughing the entire time to straight-faced in a split second. When that door opened, I had never been more scared in my life. I wanted to go back. I didn’t want to step out of that plan on the tiny 12” step anymore. I didn’t want the 120mph air hitting me in the face. I didn’t want to fall 11k feet. The perspective smacked me right in the face. But then it all went away when he said, “let’s go.” I trusted him and I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I came back down on that plane vs. the parachute. So I stepped out, crossed my arms, rocked right, left, right……soar, and had the most incredible experience of my life.
Even though I run my business from the ground, it often feels like jumping out of an airplane. Excited one moment, terrified the next, ready to take the risk then wanting to run far, far away. Think about what you’re facing in business right now. What has been burning inside you for months (or years) that you’ve been too afraid to pursue? Think about this, which requires more time; thinking about that idea day in and day out and creating a thousand outcomes or investing the energy into just doing the actual thing?
What if I told you today that you’re not allowed to do that thing anymore? How does that change your perception and desire? Are you at peace knowing there is closure? If so, maybe this is an idea or avenue that’s no longer meant for you. Or do you feel determined and want to show me who’s boss? Well, then there’s your answer.
Negative thoughts are like fuel to fear’s fire. We create scenarios, what-ifs and obstacles that don’t even exist in order to justify why we can’t do something. We stop ourselves from doing the things we know deep in our gut that we should pursue by holding ourselves back. All that energy could be put into putting action behind that idea to see where it leads us vs. keeping us up at night wondering, what if?
This week I encourage you to put action behind something that’s been eating away at you. Make that appointment. Email that person. Research what you need to learn. Talk to a mentor. Do whatever you need to get the ball rolling. You don’t have to conquer the entire thing in one day, but if you take one step towards it, you’ll be one step closer to standing on the ground looking up at what a badass you are for doing something you’ve longed to do.