Jumping into the Unknown

Have you ever known anyone who is an over-preparer? In my book I tell the story of a guy who had a life-long dream of parachuting over Napa Valley. He’d spent months locating the perfect drop zone, studied books and videos on successful parachute jumps and landings, and took classes from a certified skydiving instructor so he’d know what to do in a variety of scenarios. 

The morning of the jump, he’s nervous but excited. All his planning would soon pay off. He boards the plane, they take off, and when they hit the right altitude, he adjusts his goggles and waits for the signal. The pilot turns, gives him a thumbs up, and it’s go time.

And he freezes.

He can’t seem to unpeel his fingers from the edge of the plane. The pilot is gesturing frantically…the plane is about to pass over the drop zone, it’s now or never. And he knows…nothing will force him from that plane into thin air. The moment passes, the plane lands, he is utterly humiliated.

This is a great illustration of how all the clarity and confidence in the world cannot make up for a lack of courage. We need courage to take the powerful leap of faith. Courage is about seizing the opportunity to take action.

Many of us work our whole lives saying what we want and even preparing for it. But when the moment arrives, we chicken out. We avoid, pull back, run away, rationalize our inaction, and our frustration grows. No judgment – we all do this – but we must be honest when it is happening and stay curious about why we are hesitating. When we strive to understand what’s behind not wanting to jump, we can address it and move past it. This is what courage is all about.

Don’t worry, our guy did finally make his jump once he realized how to grow his courage. It started with him surrounding himself with brave, audacious people.It’s so important to have the right people in our corner. Because courage is contagious.

What you would do with your life if you grew your courage so it was larger than your fear?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, comment below!

1 response to “Jumping into the Unknown”

  1. Ryan Ross Avatar
    Ryan Ross

    I love this.
    I feel like I have pressed pause (and then missed out) on so many great jumps due to a lack of courage… perhaps due to a bit of self-deception masked as ‘needing more information’ or ‘it’s not the right time’.
    I think what I most lacked was having people around me that could encourage the jump. Thanks for this!

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