A transformative journey of confronting rocky fears to achieving continuous growth. Real-life lessons from a beach day adventure and find parallels that inspire personal and professional growth.
The sun gleamed brightly on the ocean as kids sprinted up and down a towering rock at a sandy beach. The most daring amongst these kids took turns jumping off, each eager to make a splash bigger than the one before. It was a scene filled with joy, anticipation, and the pure thrill of childhood.
I decided to join the kids to partake in what seemed to me a fun and exciting experience. My focus immediately shifted to one of the kids, a young teenage boy with hesitant eyes, standing on top of the rock. Among the group of courageous jumpers, he was the only one who seemed paralyzed by fear.
For a moment, I was reminded of how we often find ourselves standing on the edge in our professional and personal lives. Fear holds us back, anchoring us with a thousand 'what ifs' while curiosity urges us to take the plunge. I recognized that moment of decision —
Do you dive into the unknown or retreat to the comfort of what's familiar?
Many of the children jumped with an exhilarating blend of excitement. Yet, only one person seemed trapped in a web of overthinking, mulling over every potential outcome. I attempted to coach him, urging him to jump quickly to avoid dwelling on the fear. However, my approach didn’t resonate with him. He was clearly in a heightened state of anxiety, making any rational strategy seem redundant.
It took the wisdom of a friend to offer a softer, gradual approach. By taking it step-by-step, level by level, he started to face his fears and until he ultimately conquered them. An observation that fascinated me was his apparent rush to swim back the rock once he jumped into the water, hinting at a possible fear of the depths below.
Even more intriguing was his last jump. Though he had already proven himself by leaping from the highest level, when it came to repeating the act, he hesitated and eventually chose not to jump from the highest level, instead he chose a lower platform. His call to the other kids before jumping "Hey Guys" further revealed a deep-seated desire for validation and acceptance.
What does this story tell us? Life constantly presents us with rocks to climb and waters to jump into. Each time we face such challenges, our responses are governed by a cocktail of our past experiences, innate fears, and our need for social validation. This kid's journey off that rock was a poignant reminder that seeking external validation can overshadow our own professional and personal victories.
The key lies in embracing our true selves, scars, fears, imperfections, and all. For only by facing our fears head-on can we truly evolve and grow.
To all who hear this tale, I ask, "Where else does this manifest in your life or the relationships you have with family, friends, customers, staff, and partners?
- How does is show up in the way you communicate them?
- Is the fear of rejection, holding you back from bringing in revenue?
- Do your insecurities lower your confidence, impacting your ability to lead with certainty?
Remember, every day, life offers a myriad of opportunities to jump. The more your exposed to these opportunities and your ability to take small incremental actions towards your fears, the more comfortable you will be in being uncomfortable. The choice of when and how is entirely yours. The question I have for everyone, is how long are you willing to tolerate living in fear?
Every leap, every plunge, is an opportunity to discover a bit more about yourselves. So, will you take that leap today?
Is fear holding back the growth potential of your business? If so, would you like to learn a methodology to help you overcome it together? If so, schedule a time for us to learn where you are at, where you want to be, and why you want it?