3 steps to making a leap towards what you love
A few years ago, I traveled to a place I never expected to visit: Mendoza, Argentina. I was visiting my adventurous son Nick who was doing a semester abroad there. We did the usual tourist things – visited museums, took the vineyard tour and watched a flamenco show.
We also took a flying leap (with parachutes) off a mountain in the Andes!
It’s hard to capture in words the feeling of making that jump. Emotions swirled as I waited my turn to jump, glad for the trained instructor who would do the tandem jump with me. Excitement mixed with fear (was I really going to do this?) as I looked out over the edge of the cliff at the ground far below.
The instructor said: “Run as fast as you can. Make a big jump so the wind doesn’t blow you back into the mountain. Don’t stop until you can’t feel the ground under your feet anymore.”
Well, that sounded pretty terrifying!
But I’d come this far and wanted the experience of soaring through the air. I took a deep breath and started running. No turning back now. Leapt. Floated. Felt an amazing rush of exhilaration (combined with a touch of relief that the chute opened).
You may not want to physically jump off a cliff – I totally get that. But my hunch is that there are things you’d like to be different in your life that mean making some changes.
Here are 3 steps to get you off the precipice of thinking about making a leap and into motion.
Step one: Clarify what you want. Maybe it’s finding a new job. Starting your own business. Or relocating to a warmer climate. What would bring you greater happiness?
Step two: Imagine how you’ll feel when you get it. Picture yourself achieving your goal. How is your life different? What feelings are you experiencing now that you have what you want?
Step three: Determine your first step. (It doesn’t have to be a big one!) The truth is, taking a leap isn’t about making a huge change in your life on a sudden impulse. It’s the result of a series of smaller actions over time that lead you to your goal. For example, if you’re thinking about looking for a new job, you could start by updating your resume, then scheduling a networking conversation.
Some leaps end with bumpy landings. I’ve had my share of those. A new job that didn’t work out. A partnership that fizzled. But I learned valuable lessons from trying and developed the resilience to get back up again.
I may have gotten a few bruises along the way, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay. Because nothing is sweeter than the moment you finally nail that landing.
My bigger regret would have been staying frozen in place, afraid to follow my dreams and never giving myself the chance to fly.