Maybe you are nervous, uncertain and afraid. Perhaps you're weighing the risks and rewards. Maybe you're not. But you know you want a change. A different outcome. Something inside you persists, pushes and cajoles until you can't ignore it any more. And so, throwing caution to the wind, you leap. Like a young eagle who leaves the nest for the first time, you leap. You instinctively know that the comfort of the nest isn't enough. When the fear of staying is greater than the fear of leaving, you leap.
Think back on the accomplishments and breakthroughs in your life. Some may have been due to good fortune and luck. But the most satisfying and meaningful growth often comes from the leap. From the aftermath of charging that cliff and throwing oneself into the abyss.
Diving into the abyss is scary. At first it may feel like you're falling. But then, at some point you experience what the young eagle leaving the nest feels. Exhilaration. Freedom. The thrill of entering a whole new world. New possibilities and dreams.
Country music artist Tim McGraw wouldn't go on stage without a drink. He needed a little "liquid courage" to perform. But it didn't end there. He'd get trashed and drunk call his wife. He'd slur. So then, to hide his inebriation, he'd text her. Except everything was misspelled, and she knew. Finally, after one last bender and hangover, he flew into Florida to start a new concert tour. And he decided to quit. He took the leap. It certainly could not have been easy. The superstar lifestyle is not conducive to sobriety. But he took the leap anyway, and never looked back. Today he is in the best shape of his life and more successful than ever.
For me, venturing outside the nest and leaping meant getting on a plane. I had a fear of flying and heights. The fear prevented me from taking trips I should have taken. But then an opportunity came to study landscape painting with renowned artist Scott L. Christensen. My wife shot down all my excuses about expenses, time away from work and such. She knew they were sad facades, masking the real issue. My fear of flying.
And so I packed my art gear, stepped on that big plane and threw caution to the wind. I hated every bump and every time the "fasten seatbelt" came on. But then we landed and I felt it. The exhilaration. The joy of conquering my fear. That turning point led to more painting trips to study with Christensen, and significant personal growth as an artist.
What's holding you back? Your weight? An addiction? An unhealthy relationship? Depression? Uncertainty and fear? All of these challenges have real solutions, if you're ready to leave the nest once and for all. If you're ready to take the leap and soar.
Yes, sometimes the flight is bumpy. Sometimes it's the wrong leap and we fall. And some falls take longer to recover from than others. But playing it safe and never leaping is its own kind of hell. And what a tragedy to not live boldly and pursue one's passions. If you want to soar, you have to leap. To that end, I leave you with Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" quote:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."