How to build a plane while flying it!

A few years ago, I made the decision that I would no longer live my life ‘waiting’. For as long as I can remember, without realising it, I was ‘waiting’.

Whether it was for that magical opportunity that will turn my life around, or for that perfect relationship, or that amazing event that would just turn everything on its head. When I made my decision to let go of the ‘waiting’, I started making different choices and decisions in my life. I remember, one of the things I kept saying to myself was that ‘one day when I have enough money, I would live in a house by the sea’, or I would want to live where I want to. The first thing I did was to downsize my life considerably. I decided to let go of a lot of ‘things’, wanted to be able to move wherever I wanted to without the hassle of managing things. I sold all my furniture and literally decided that I would try to live my life out of only two suitcases. This is harder because of my tendency to collect books and beautiful artifacts. However, I think I am managing ok.

Why am I sharing this long introduction? Well, last year I managed to live in a beautiful house at the ocean and it was my own piece of heaven. I learnt to live far enough from everything and yet near enough should I need anything. This year, I decided to relocate to another city. I think in my mind, I am consciously stretching because I want to connect to this notion that my home is ultimately me. Yes, my connections and deep relationships are all considerations and have to be managed, but all in all – I think I am doing ok.

In the last blog, I focused on lessons I learnt from the turtle. However, as much as I learn from the turtle, my personality is one whereby I am a risk-taker and get a thrill from taking leaps of faith. In my coaching sessions, this is what I share about taking these leaps of faith:

  1. Belief in self (trust and faith):

The one thing that has sustained me in times of great stress and uncertainty, is this deep sense of knowing that no matter what happens, I will be ok. I have come to realise that I am willing to do whatever it takes – to survive – and it is this knowing that keeps me sane and also helps me retain a sense of calm in the face of the most turbulent storms.

  1. Release expectation:

When taking leaps of faith, it is good to have an intention and an idea of what you are aiming for. After all, you do not want to leap just for the sake of it! However, it is good to remember that your own imagination is limited to what it knows – and allow the universe to surprise you and exceed your wildest imaginings. As they say – I don’t expect – miracles.

  1. The power of community:

More than anything, when you leap, it is good to have your own supportive community. People that will hold you, pick you, help dust you off as you fumble (as you will). People that will encourage you even though it looks like the odds are stacked against you. Also, those people that will be able to expand your network and help you get to where you want. In the same vein, stay away from the naysayers, those people who are at every opportunity try to evoke fear, doubt, anxiety in you. When you need inspiration and support, know that they (even unintentionally) will squash your motivation and belief in self, simply because they want to protect you or are not willing to step out of their comfort zone. 

  Leaping my feel like a lonely endeavour, because ultimately YOU have to do it! But, don’t isolate yourself, or forget that it does take a village to get what you ultimately want. 

  1. Be curious:

What I love most about leaping, is the sense of avid curiosity that it evokes. I love that I have no idea what to expect and I am almost beside myself with anticipation as I await to see how the picture unfolds. This is the gift you give yourself when you leap! It allows you to be curious and to explore in areas you may not have before.

  1. Embrace failure and rejection:

We all want to reap the benefits of living a full life, yet we hold ourselves back from fully living.  So we allow our fears, our insecurities and our ‘what if conversations’ to really get in the way of us.  Unfortunately,– you have to get out there.  You have to try things.  You have to fail, you have to explore, you have to learn, you have to make mistakes, and yes you even have to get hurt.  Without this – you are not able to progress to the next stage on your journey.  So – you have to get on with it.  Shut up the peanut gallery in your head and move one step forward.  Check.  Then, the mistakes, failures and hurts – all provide raw material for you to work with to craft the next batch so you can take the next step.  In other words – even if you fall, even if you get hurt, even if you fail – learn from it – then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and take another step forward.  Voila – you are two steps closer to where you want to be.  If you had stayed in the fear, you would still be there thinking – I will fail, blah blah blah.  Instead – you took that leap of faith but the leap of faith provided you with more information for your next step.  Then you take the next step and the outcomes once again gives you raw material for the next step. Check.  I think you can see where this is going.

In my own experience – I don’t know if I was always just ready to take risks – or whether I learnt it over the years.  I think I despise inaction, and sometimes not knowing – so I have always preferred to learn while doing.  So I will keep moving – and yes – most likely get hurt too.  I am human.  But I have a deep faith and love and joy for life and a belief that by keeping on getting back out there – I will not live with the regret of ‘what if I’…  I can know that I gave it my all and definitely reap the benefits from a journey as well as an outcome.   So in a nutshell – if you want to get in the water without getting wet, want to ride/surf the waves without really learning how to fall and pick yourself up each time, then tough…. life just ain’t like that.  You are gonna have to get your hands dirty and more than just your feet wet.

Disclaimer: before I start blogging away, a disclaimer… unless you are some magical being, it is probably advisable NOT to fly a plane while building it!