One of my biggest and most important roles as a coach is to support my clients in taking risks and increasing the size of their comfort zones. It’s fine to start with small risks or take things slow at the beginning to gain some experience and witness your own resourcefulness. Everything gets better and easier with practice.
But at some point – and there’s always a point – you have to stop practicing and leap without a guarantee. Whether it’s changing careers, going back to school, or starting a business, there is a time when you have to stop researching or planning and finally commit. You have to be willing to try and willing to fail; to not know how it’s all going to turn out; to make the leap – and if you fall, roll with it and get back on your feet.
A friend who is an expert trail runner put it like this when asked how he runs so fast on difficult terrain – while others tiptoe down a crumbly, rocky incline or try not to fall into a ravine. He said, “[It’s] really aggressive. Part of it is lower center of mass and good balance. But it’s also this confidence that slipping a little bit is ok.” He continued, “You have to build it; you can’t just fake that confidence… It comes with experience and understanding the terrain.”
I think practice and experience and confidence are all tied together in a powerful, virtuous cycle. But the missing piece here is courage. You need courage to take those first risks, those first steps on uneven terrain; to know that slipping a little is ok and even expected. When you get used to slipping, you have the confidence to take the big leaps that could possibly lead to a fall (which experience says you can handle), but could also lead to your greatest success.
What leap are you working towards? Where do you need to take a risk and learn to slip a little? Where could you practice falling, rolling, and popping right back up onto your feet?
Remember: slipping a little is ok!
p.s. Your comments are most welcome on this post at https://www.facebook.com/jenfrankcoaching