Standing on the dock, I looked across that small lake and thought, “I have to try.” I did not say a word to anyone around me, held my breath, dove in, and started swimming. For me, I just had to swim across that lake.
That one event from the summer I was thirteen is so indicative of the person I wanted to be. As a child despite many trials and throughout much of my life, I would get my eye on something intriguing or something that grabs my heart, and I jump in full-force putting my whole being into making it happen. My soul catches fire, and all I can do is move.
Amy Pohler once said, “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that … that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special. And if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.”
While I shudder at the idea of being lumped into calling myself great, I like to label myself as “actively seeking better.”
I have to say that even at the age of 13 when my heart caught fire and I jumped into that lake, I did not jump in completely blind. I had capabilities and was a strong swimmer. I had been on the swim team and built up strength. Coming from the past I had, I had such inner strength. I had stood up to giants, and I knew that I could do this!
As I have gotten older, I have become more cautious concerning jumping in. It can actually freeze me in my tracks, but I try to never stay frozen very long. When I over-analyze or spend too long worrying is when I actually slip and fall. I am much better when I use the freeze more like a pause, not allowing it to become debilitating. I attempt to use it as a gut-check to make sure I am still following my why. If it aligns with my heart and purpose, then I go for it. If it does not, I let the moment slip by.
Failure is present in so many places in my life, but each time I have learned to reflect, remember I am human, determine how I would approach the situation in the future, and then begin to let it go.
I am not going to pretend that I am great at letting things go or that my process is quick. The struggle is real, but I cannot allow it to keep me from jumping in!
By the way, I stopped midway and tread water a bit and then made it all the way across that little lake. When I got to the other side and had to walk all the way back around due to being tired. I felt this great sense of accomplishment. I knew no matter what I did in the future, I had done THIS and no one could take it away from me.