I have a fabulous person in my life that I am lucky enough to call family. My cousin Chris did something amazing a few weeks ago. She overcame fear. I wanted to share her story with you in hopes that you will be inspired to do the things that you want to do- regardless of the fear you may feel.
Steph invited me to guest blog and I’m excited to share with you about how I overcame a fear and took a huge leap in my life…literally.
Have you heard it said that if you want to do something big that you should tell someone so they will hold you accountable? Some say the ego will be “forced” to make the goal happen. Well, this isn’t always true for everyone. I’ve struggled with buying into that philosophy over the years and actually have no problem wimping out or giving up on my goals and taking a hit on my pride. At times, it’s been more comforting just to know that I’ve set a goal for myself and I gently find supportive ways to nurture myself towards my goal, which is what I’m sharing with you today.
The trouble I’ve found with sharing a goal or desire with others is that they may not be comfortable and can project their own fears and/or insecurities onto you. I’ve had to learn that even my closest friends and family have been known to feel uncomfortable with certain goals and they just aren’t able to be a support. And these are my dearest, closest friends. It’s just the way it is. Some things we choose to do can make others uncomfortable because of how they might feel if you succeed or even fail.
This is the mindset that I understand and have experienced in my life.
Which is why I didn’t tell my best friends, my husband, my children, my sisters, or my father that I was going skydiving.
I did discuss it with my brother whom invited me, his wife, and ironically, his ex-wife and my close friend, because each of them had jumped before and two of them would be accompanying me. I also wanted someone to have final instructions to share with my family members and friends in the event that I did not make it.
So my first step to overcoming my fears was to limit who I talked to about the event.
Second, I got quiet. I didn’t talk a lot about it and I quieted my mind chatter. Granted this is a very fun and exciting thing to be doing…with a high risk factor. I mean we are jumping out of an airplane, hoping we are strapped properly together, hoping the person who packed the chute was paying close attention and that the chute actually opens or that the backup chute works. Then there were thoughts of an article I read last year that spoke of a woman going on a skydive (checking off her bucket list) and how her tandem master ended up paralyzed from saving her life, attempting to enter my mind. For these reasons, it was important that I get intensely quiet.
Prior to my jump I distanced myself from the crowd. I became a keen observer watching the dynamics of the group of people, taking in their playful, excited, professional yet laid back energy. I took time to jot a few notes down to loved ones. I thought of my family, my husband, my children. In all this I realized I have my legal things in order and found this very reassuring.
Lastly, I followed the teachings of a wise teacher I once had the privilege of working with, “follow simple directions”. I listened to the simple directions and did exactly as I was told. My tandem master, Mike, was professional, yet really supportive in keeping the mood light.
I need to insert a note here pertaining to my support system. I felt that the people with me were very supportive and caring. Anita, a woman I’d never met, offered me her neck scarf since it was expected to be very cold in the clouds. My brother checked the chute that we picked and tossed in a brotherly, “this is my sister, take good care of her.” This did not go unnoticed and played a role in my state of being.
As we loaded into the plane I checked in with my body. I felt good. The takeoff was smooth, the ride up was smooth, and before I knew it, it was time to open the door. Jenn went first and then I was up. I followed the simple directions and we were out. I felt the sensation of falling for a few seconds before the drogue chute was thrown out. This slowed us down and then we were “flying” for several seconds before the main chute was pulled. We floated down gently and all seemed to be going well. I checked in with my fellow divers and their chutes had all opened. Jake landed first, before me then Jenn. Once we landed I was ecstatic and relieved! My smile covered my face and I felt wonderful after accomplishing a seemingly scary thing. As intense as I had been, the excitement at the end was quadrupled.
Afterwards, I had family members tell me that I was an adrenaline junkie and shouldn’t have done that since I have children at home. Others commented on how scary it looked. This is a big part of why I didn’t tell anyone because of their projected fears as I mentioned before.
There were those who were also stoked and me gave big shout outs! In the end I handled it exactly as I would have wanted, if not, better. No drama, just the thrill of an adventure!
The next time you are faced with an intense goal or adventure I hope these tips will be as helpful to you as they were for me.:
1) Pay attention to who you tell.
2) Get quiet.
3) Follow simple directions.
4) Kick ass and have fun!
I’ve enjoyed sharing my experience with you and wish you many fabulous adventures!