As soon as I booked the plane ticket, it started.
If you’re going to New Zealand, said my brain, you’ve got to do something exciting. They’re the inventors of crazy adventurous things. They even invented bungee jumping.
Bungee jumping. Oh, boy.
I’d heard you could do it off the Auckland Bridge, which sounded cool, but I wasn’t sold. I was scared.
All during the thousand-hour plane ride, my brain went back and forth. Do it, don’t do it. It’s exciting, it’s scary. You have to, I don’t know if I’m ready.
I got to the hotel at 6:30a.m. As soon as I checked in, the first thing out of my mouth was, “Do you think I can bungee jump off the Auckland Bridge this week?”
“I don’t know,” said the concierge. “People do, but maybe not in winter. I’ll call as soon as they’re open.”
I thanked him and went up to my room. An hour later, he called up. “They go every single day,” he said, “so I took the liberty of booking it for you. You’re going Thursday at 8:30am.”
Holy crap, I thought. I guess I’m really doing this.
Which was insane, because I still didn’t know if I was up for it. And also on Thursday morning, I was guesting on The Café, a New Zealand daytime talk show. If every little thing went according to plan, I’d make it. But how often does everything go according to plan?
But I didn’t worry too much. After all, it was supposed to downpour all day Thursday. On Wednesday night, when it started raining, I was pretty sure I was off the hook.
But I wasn’t. The concierge called to check, and they weren’t cancelling. Clearly, the Inventors of Adventure aren’t deterred by details like inclement weather.
Thursday came, and at 8:15am, the instructors led me down the bridge, into what appeared to be a space capsule. There was a massive rigging, metal and gears everywhere. They weighed me about eight times, and attached a set of cuffs to my ankles. My heart thumped so hard I could feel it. This was actually happening, and I was terrified.
I waddled along a tunnel toward the platform. Then the wall rose up, leaving nothing between me and the blue, sparkling water except 1,000 feet of air. That’s when you’re supposed to jump.
Actually, dive. Headfirst.
“Three, two,” the instructor said, “one, jump.”
What?! I gaped at her—I wasn’t ready; I’d need at least an hour to work up the courage to—
“Look,” she said in a no-nonsense voice. “The longer you stand here, the worse it’ll get. You just gotta rip off the Band-aid and go.”
I took a deep breath and nodded, waiting for her confidence to take hold of me. It didn’t. But then she said, “Ready—three, two, one,” and this time, I dove.
I don’t remember the first few seconds. But I do remember the final moments, rocketing down toward the water, and then bouncing around before they pulled me up. It was amazing, beautiful, electrifying. My entire being was resonating with this feeling of “Yes!”
I was on top of the world. I’d conquered the fear. Check it out!
As I drove away, I thought, isn’t it true. Sometimes you’ve got to rip the Band-aid off and go.
How often do I get paralyzed by fear, in business and in my personal life? I stand on the edge looking down, too afraid to move. I start analyzing, weighing the options, asking everyone I know what to do. I get stuck. And the longer I stay there, the harder it gets to get un-stuck.
On the bridge that day, when I was most afraid, I just needed to take that step.
And I did, and it was amazing.
As I write this, I’m still carrying that energy. Where in my life am I standing on a platform, debating and analyzing instead of taking that dive?
Where do I need to just rip off the Band-aid and go?
And what would it be like if I did?
I turn the challenge to you. In what way are you standing on a platform, looking down, afraid?
What’s the one step you need to take?
What’s possible if you do?
Not everyone’s “Band-aid” will involve bungee jumping. Some of the most courageous acts happen in everyday occurrences, like making a phone call, or going on a date. Anything that gets you out of your comfort zone requires courage! (For more on stepping outside your comfort zone, check out our latest Moti-Minute.)
Hearing other people overcoming hardship – what’s more inspiring than that? Help others take the leap by sharing your story or strategy about working through fear. Tell the world about it on our Facebook or Twitter page, to inspire others to live a #betterlife. We want to read about all the incredible things that are happening, all over the world!
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