Is there a point at which we are so sublime and confident, that we can put ourselves into new challenges and not worry, not feel any fear, not have one thought that we might look foolish or screw up or that our ideas might be rejected? Clients ask me this all the time. The answer–absolutely not.
The man in the photo calls himself Professor Splash. He holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for jumping over 35 feet into a kiddie pool holding 12 inches of water. That’s insane!
I had an opportunity to talk with him a couple of years ago and I asked him whether he was ever afraid when he did a jump. “I’m scared out of my mind,” he told me. “I just jump anyway.” You can watch him set a world record here.
I attended a workshop once with the late Debbie Ford, who was a stunning, poised, bestselling author. She asked the audience, “Do you think I am never scared? I am scared all the time. I just don’t let it stop me.”
Doubt and fear are widespread human responses to challenging situations. After we’ve learned to see our limiting thought patterns and assumptions, they lose their power to stop us. I might screw up, my idea is too crazy, it’s too risky—thoughts like these will likely pop up when we place ourselves at risk by doing something new, whenever we challenge our comfort zone.
We feel the old fears and hear the old worries when we take risks. But we can recognize them for what they are—just thoughts. And from this place, we can keep going. The fear and worry lose their power over us when we don’t let them stop us.
Being human means we will have doubts and we will always feel fear. And growth means that we don’t have to let doubt and fear stop us.