In life and in business, it’s important to do things that scare you.
Sometimes, it’s about asking for more money than you’ve ever charged (without blinking).
Other times, it is about things that cause physical fear…
Like jumping out of a plane.
When I decided to go skydiving with my friend Shannon, I got a lot of reactions.
Not really “mixed” reactions …
Pretty much everyone said the same thing:
“Are you f*!$ing crazy?!?”
Some people (including family) were angry with me.
It was like a personal affront to them that I was taking a risk like this.
But I knew it was something I had to do.
Was I terrified?
Was I going to do it anyway?
I built up to jumping out of the plane by going in one of those indoor wind tunnels.
For the most part, it was ridiculously difficult.
I was struggling to focus on every little detail they taught me in the training:
Arms out. Lay flat. Legs back…it was overwhelming…
Until I caught the air in just the right way…
And for a few glorious seconds…
I was flying.
It was easy and everything just clicked.
Until…almost as quickly as it came…it immediately felt like a struggle again.
Yes, it was lots of effort for each moment of glory, but so worth it (kind of like running a business).
And I was determined to go for the real thing.
I spent weeks getting psyched up for the jump (some was actual excitement…a lot was channeling nervous energy to take that terrifying leap).
Then, the week of the jump, I went to my doctor to get cleared to go. (While facing your fears is paramount to success in life, it is important to be safe with them as well.)
And wouldn’t you know it…two days before my big skydiving experience…I got a red light.
I was devastated.
How could this happen?
I was finally psyched about going…just to be told no?!? That night, I went to bed angry and frustrated and sad.
But I awoke with a sense of clarity about how this relates to entrepreneurship.
Yes, I would have loved to jump out of that plane and been able to fly for a while…but I really didn’t need to.
I had faced my fear.
I made the decision to do something so far outside of my comfort zone and it stretched me.
I know with 100% confidence that I am someone who is willing to take that step – ready to jump.
And that translates into my business.
I can take chances. I can do things that scare me. I can grow and expand my comfort zone every day. And, you can be damn sure I will keep finding things that scare me and tackling them like a linebacker.
And you should too.
Do you have a story about a time you conquered your fears? Or, when you were disappointed but rebounded like I did? Please share them in the comments.
Until then…stay passionate!