“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” -H. Jackson Browne
It’s safe. Familiar. Comfortable. Effortless. It doesn’t make waves. It’s what other people think you should do. You’re less likely to fail. Less likely to feel vulnerable. Less likely to question if it was worth the risk.
Whether you realize it now or not, it is. We tend to regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did.
On my first date with my boyfriend, I told him over dinner that I’d always wanted to go skydiving, even though I was afraid of heights. And I meant it–someday. As in someday far away, in a time when it suddenly seemed less terrifying. Someday came far quicker than I’d planned.
He told me that if I wanted to see him again, I’d have to jump out of a plane. So he took me skydiving on our second date. For days before, I considered backing out, especially after I tweeted about it and someone linked me to skydiving fatalities. Although I knew it would likely be safe, I was afraid of the inherent risk.
What pushed me through was the realization that I said I wanted to do it because I did. So I took it one moment at a time. I focused first on just getting in the car–that was all I had to do. Then next on going into the building. Then next on boarding the plane. Then next on jumping out.
What I didn’t plan was the last step–feeling more alive than I ever had before.
I took the risk one simple action step at a time, and though it didn’t completely take away the fear, it certainly pushed me through it. It was absolutely worth it. Nothing is more satisfying than actually doing what you’ve always said you wanted to do.
Get unsafe. Less familiar. Uncomfortable. Difficult. Make waves. Define expectations. Risk failing. Feel vulnerable. Be bold and courageous. No matter where it takes you, leaving your comfort zone–learning, growing, feeling alive–is always worth the risk.
Photo by magical-world