1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 Check Canopy!

Earlier this week I received a lovely email from Jenny Appleby expressing her positive feedback for this blog. I thanked her but explained that I get very nervous when I click send. She replied with, “Don’t be nervous Luke, what have you got to lose?”

Jenny’s message got me thinking as I have struggled with self-confidence and have always felt insecure about showing the real me. I think I fear people laughing or judging me harshly for the big dreams I have.

Have you felt this kind of nervous insecurity when trying something new, hard or difficult? Are you holding yourself back from experiences and dreams because your fears get in the way?

I remember a charity parachute jump I did many years ago. I don’t particularly like heights and had no great desire to leap from a plane. I’m no adrenaline junkie and run away from rollercoasters and big fairground rides. But I found myself signed up to do the charity jump. I raised the sponsorship money and off we went.

We had a days training on the ground which focused on getting us to understand jumping out and safety, we endlessly repeated the count 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 check canopy. Up we went in this small plane to 3000 feet and prepared to jump.

You might think fear would have overwhelmed me, but I have to say I was relatively calm. The training had worked, and I spent the flight thinking through what I had learned. Of course, I felt fear, but also excitement. I believed I could do it.

So, eventually my time came, and I was at the open door ready to jump. The instructor counted down and out I went without much of a thought. I had felt the fear but did it anyway.

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is the key message of the story. When you are trying something new, when you are doing something worthwhile and that you believe in then, you are going to be at the edge of your comfort zone. You are likely to be fearful, to feel nervous and scared. It’s natural, but how you respond to those emotions is what defines you and the life you will lead.

If you can feel the fear and do it anyway, then the world opens for you. Life becomes incredibly rewarding as nothing can hold you back. Each time you repeat this process of feeling fear and then smashing through it, you get stronger, and it gets easier. You can live the life you have always dreamed of.  Long before others believe, you must believe it’s possible. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time. Today I leave you with Jenny’s words.

“Don’t be nervous, what have you got to lose?”

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