Make The Leap
Have you ever been stuck, immobilized or paralyzed with fear? Have you ever found yourself unable to move in one direction or another or to make the leap towards a goal, dream or direction you would like to go?
The word ‘leap’ came into my life recently, both literally and figuratively. A friend gave me a beautiful little plant with the word “leap” engraved on a stone tucked into the top of the clear glass vase. She made this herself, intentionally choosing everything about it – including the stone with the word “leap” on it. So thoughtful. So appreciated. So timely.
It got me thinking about my own life – and where I have (and haven’t) made the leap.
Making the leap is about jumping across and into something new and leap is defined as the following;
- To make a large jump or sudden movement, usually from one place to another:
- To provide help, protection, etc. very quickly:
- To achieve something suddenly, usually fame, power, or importance:
- To increase, improve, or grow very quickly:
I remember a time when making the leap was a visceral experience in my own life. I’ve often thought of this moment when nudging myself towards making the leap in different situations.
More than twenty years ago, a bunch of friends were out at a local cliff-jumping spot along the lake and everyone was taking turns jumping from the cliffs, leaping into the water from an elevation that was far too high for my comfort level. I watched as each friend boldly ran off the edge of the cliff, leaping into the air, grabbing hold of nothing and everything all at the same time. Nothing– because there was literally nothing to grab a hold of, except air. Everything– because in the experience of leaping, I saw my friends grasping and taking hold of courage, bravery, and immense possibility.
I was mesmerized.
And paralyzed in fear.
As I stood watching my friends, after they jumped, they would climb back up to the top off the cliff, dripping wet and filled with excitement. And then they would leap off the edge again, with even more bravery, courage and possibility than before! I remained planted firmly with my feet on the ground. Not budging an inch.
Until I felt something stir inside me. It was a tiny ounce of bravery hoping for a chance to show itself. I remained frozen – as we so often do in life when new opportunities present themselves to us. I was still overwhelmed with fear – but not paralyzed any longer. It wasn’t peer pressure that caused the stir – it was a desire to grow, to grab hold of possibility and potential and all that could be…if only I was able to move beyond my fear.
How often do we hide behind our fear? I know I hide there a lot. I have hidden behind my own fears on and off, for my whole life. The fear of not being good enough. The fear of not giving or doing my best. The fear of actually giving my best – because if I give my best, (you know…the all-in 100% kind of effort) and fail, what would that mean? And then there’s the fear that I’m not smart enough or worthy enough or deserving enough. The fear that others will judge me or not like me or that I won’t be accepted. Not to mention the fear of embarrassment, shame, self-doubt and countless other ways I’ve held myself back from leaping into my life.
Yes, I’ve had my share of fears and they have held me back in immeasurable ways. They have also protected me and guided me and taught me a great deal about myself, life and everything in between. I don’t think fear is bad – it just is. And I’m learning that there’s a time to listen and honour my fears and there’s also a time to make the leap.
That day, on the cliff, I picked up a little rock and was going to throw it over the edge and count how many seconds it would take to hit the water. This, I thought, would illustrate when I should start to hold my breath before I hit the water and offer a little assurance that it wasn’t really that far down.
But something happened in that moment and as I grasped that little rock and flung it over the edge. I didn’t let go. With that tiny rock in hand, I made the leap. I found myself leaping into the air, arms outstretched, heart wide open, with that little rock still clenched in my palm.
As I hit the water and came up for air, filled with exhilaration and possibility, the little rock remained in the palm of my hand. I kept it for years, tucked in the top drawer of my office desk, as a reminder of all that is waiting on the other side of fear.
Possibility. Opportunity. Everything.
For the remainder of the afternoon, I joined my friends, clambering up the path to the top off the cliff several times, to make the leap over the edge and into my life. It was a day of leaping, celebrating, of overcoming fears and of grabbing hold of dreams. Big dreams. Awesome dreams. Worthy dreams. And so much more.
This memory reminds me of the importance of making the leap, even when we feel frozen or paralyzed in fear. There is an ounce (well, actually much more, but let’s start with just an ounce because it’s more than enough) of bravery that is within each of us, just waiting for an opportunity to show itself.
It’s time. It’s your time. As we move into a new season, make the leap towards what would fulfil you, enrich your life and bring more joy to your every day. And if we’re unable to make the actual leap today, let’s make a leap of faith together. A leap of belief. Because when faith or belief are present, anything is possible and the possibilities are endless.
Crystal Flaman is an international keynote speaker and social entrepreneur, inspiring you to discover your dreams and the difference you can create in the world. Anything is possible. Everything is possible. Believe in your dreams. Do what you love and be fearlessly you.