On Taking the Leap

 
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It’s all in your head. The belief that others will judge you— for the way that you eat; for the decision to stray from an ordinary career path; for the choice to not drink; for the desire to move across the country without a carefully thought out plan.

 

It’s all in our heads. Others aren’t judging you; how can they if you haven’t even done it? We, in fact, judge ourselves based on the conjured up reaction that others may possibly, potentially (but likely won’t) have. And we let that fabricated judgement hold us back, from what will truly make us happy.

 

Think about it. What’s the worst that can happen? Will your family stop loving you? Will you friends stop talking to you? Will you be left to the vultures?

 

I’d bet not. I’d bet that anyone who truly cares about you will support you. They’ll ask questions, for sure. But don’t confuse intrigue with disapproval. And anyone who does disapprove, who does judge you, who does cut you off? You’re better off without them. They don’t deserve to watch you thrive.

 

This is easier said than done. I’m not saying I take action with ease, either. In fact I bring up this topic because of a conversation I had with a new friend about this very predicament I am facing in my own life. I’m at a crossroads; a positive one, to be sure, but nonetheless terrifying. My choices du jour are to remain on the plateau I’ve been riding safely and smoothly for the past year, or to ride right off the edge into the prospering valley below.

 

I know I’ll land okay. It’s just the air-time that scares me. The not knowing for how long I will be in free-fall. The not knowing what way the winds will blow me on the way down. But ultimately, I know my friends and family have my back like a parachute. They won’t let me crash and burn.

 

So why do I stall? Why haven’t I ridden off the plateau yet? This thought puzzled me last night, as it does now, and I still can’t quite put my finger on it. But the more I deliberate why I haven’t leaped, the longer I stall.

 

The fact of the matter is, that nothing life changing will occur without leaving our comfort zone. So I encourage you, in effect to encourage myself, to leave that zone.

 

Have that conversation with your family about your choices to better your health, even if it goes against cultural norms. They will still love you.

 

Say no thanks to the bartender, even if everyone else is taking shots. Your friends won’t ditch you.

 

Quit your unfulfilling corporate job, even if it means losing that immediately feeling of financial security. Your community will support you, you will find more meaningful work, and a happiness that money can’t buy.

 

Whenever you take that leap, you’re not alone. I’m here leaping with you.