A few weeks ago, whilst on holidays, I did something I have always wanted to do.
I went skydiving!
My partner and I chose to do the highest jump, 14,000 feet – this is a 60 second freefall!!
I was very excited, as I knew it would be a huge rush.
But I’ll admit that I really wasn’t looking forward to the initial jumping out of the plane part.
I knew that the actual jump would only be scary for about two seconds, but I still had to go through with it to get to the fun bit.
So what went through my mind leading up to the jump?
My mind kept replaying the time that I jumped off a building two years ago, at Sky Tower in New Zealand. When I walked out of the lift at the top of that building and stood on the ledge overlooking the Auckland skyline, my legs began shaking like a plate of jelly hit by lightening.
I wondered whether jumping out of a plane would be less frightening, seeing as I wouldn’t have the tops of skyscrapers directly in front of me?
In the days leading up to the skydive, I hoped that I was not living the last few days of my life.
I had heard stories of parachutes not opening, or landing on power lines, and naturally it was on my mind.
I was also really looking forward to the day AFTER the jump, and pictured myself talking with my partner about how fun it was – because that would mean we’d survived it.
I was thinking that I hope my instructor has attached me properly to her harness.
As the plane ascended higher and higher, it felt like we were heading into space. “Are you kidding me – we’re STILL not high enough yet?” I stopped looking down.
I remember feeling thankful that we were jumping over water. Yes, I KNOW it would be the same impact, but I just prefer the thought of slamming into water over concrete.
Anyway, the time came for me to jump. We scooted to the open door, I sat with my legs dangling over the plane as instructed, crossed my hands over my chest, and the next thing I knew we were suspended in mid-air.
I was terrified, but the fear lasted all of two seconds.
After that, my facial expression transformed from terror into sheer delight.
The experience was amazing!
But to get there I had to overcome my fear. I had to overcome both the fear of dying, and the fear of jumping out of the plane.
I was able to do it because I decided that what came AFTER the fear was more important to me than the fear itself.
That is a choice that you can always make.
People have said to me that they could never do that (skydive).
It’s easy to say that you can’t do something, if all you focus on is the fear.
I just wanted to skip the scary bit so that I could enjoy the fun part.
But it doesn’t work that way.
Some of the most amazing experiences in life are on the other side of fear, which means you need to go through the tunnel to find out what’s on the other side.
If there is something that you really want to experience, but you’re feeling scared about doing it, just remember that the people who did it before you felt the same fear as you.
They did it anyway, and got to reap the rewards.
You can do it too, and you’ll get the rewards that you have been dreaming about.
Besides, the fear is short-lived. The rewards will last forever.
I hope that you can take some inspiration from my little adventure, so that you too, will make the choice that what you want is WAY more important than the fear of going after it.
I know you’ll thank me 😉
PS: Below is a little pictogram that I made, showing the transformation of my facial expressions…