“I can’t do it! I’m sorry, I just can’t do it.”
Those words flew out of my mouth as I stood 630 feet above the sprawling concrete jungle of Auckland. What the, pardon my French, did I just get myself into?
I was standing on the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, strapped into a harness, toes on the ledge, looking out at the beautiful bay, and being told to JUMP! You can imagine my hesitation but perhaps not the meltdown that ensued, which is all too conveniently captured on video.
It was a great idea to begin with.
Why not jump from the SkyTower? It was only 192 metres in 11 seconds. I got that. Oh wait, you mean that’s really 630 feet? EEK, I’m not feeling so sure about this anymore.
Here’s the thing about great ideas, they sound sane until it’s time to execute. That’s when you uncover all of the excuses that will prevent you from growth.
So I’m standing on the edge, having a fear induced breakdown and ready to walk away when the jump therapist (not sure of his official title), asks if I’d rather jump backwards. Hmmm, now there’s an idea.
So I pull myself together, psych up my psyche and position myself to not face the impending doom.
“1-2-3-JUMP!” And I did. And I screamed. And I ooed. And I aahed. And eleven seconds later I softly fell onto the land pad target.
As I collected my thoughts from the landing pad, I scolded myself for being hesitant, for having doubt, fear, and anxiety. So when the young guy who helped to unhook me asked if I wanted to go again (free of charge this time) of course I jumped at the chance.
Interesting Note: Sky Tower used their employees or patrons as advertising. If people weren’t jumping, there was no attention being drawn to their business. Seeing people use their product (jumping off the tower) was the best was to develop interest and draw new people to their doors. Take Note: How are you showcasing your product or business? How are you gaining new prospects attention through demonstration?
So here I went again. Up the 54 floors in the elevator, out to the ledge, all ready to jump facing forward this time.
“1-2-3-JUMP!” I didn’t.
“OK Stephanie, Let’s try this again. 1-2-3-JUMP!” I couldn’t.
“One more time, you have to let go. OK? 1-2-3-JUMP” I wouldn’t.
“Can I go backwards?” I asked sheepishly as the self-disappointment washed over me.
I turned around, got set, “1-2-3-JUMP!” I went flying.
The thrill and wonder of the experience subsided as I landed and again I was frustrated with my inability to jump face forward. Why was going backwards so much easier?
That’s when the AHA of the whole experience hit me. When I was facing backwards, I didn’t have to let go and jump. Instead, I was more or less pushed off by the jump assistant. I didn’t jump. I wouldn’t jump. I couldn’t let go (control-freak). But I was fine with being pushed, being shoved into a free-fall where once I was in it, I was able to master it.
All I needed was someone to push me. Twice.
Who is pushing you?
Who is throwing you off the ledge?
Who is catapulting you into the future you are meant to have?
Who is pushing you even when you are facing something you’ve already conquered?
Fear is idea-crippling, experience-crushing, and success-stalling. Fear is the biggest self-inflicted inhibitor you will face. Fear is to be pushed, pushed real good, pushed all the way out until you free fall into your dreams.
I’m your Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista. How may I help you help yourself?