Today I did a backflip off of the top of a park bench; it was my first time ever.
And, considering the fact I am still alive and here to write about it, I suppose it turned out okay. 😉
Here’s the proof:
Doing backflips makes me happy. It brings me joy, actually.
But, to understand why, you first have to understand that:
Now, that part may be obvious, but let me clarify. This wasn’t a talent I developed in elementary school or middle school. I didn’t even learn this magical feat in high school…. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The Strength of our Dreams Determines the Size of our Action
As a young child, I always wanted to be a ninja, with amazing acrobatic skills. I dreamed about it for years, and finally, in the 8th grade, I took massive action on it. I attempted a backflip. In the gym at school, I set up a big foam pit and launched off the bleachers. It was glorious and magnificent… until I landed, on my neck. To say that it hurt was an understatement.
Young & foolish, I decided to try again. Weeks later (after my neck healed) I tried it again. This time, I did it in pool, where I thought the water would be safer. Somehow, I managed to land in a very awkward way that my grandchildren felt… and once again, it hurt. It hurt bad.
No more backflips… I give up. I resign to the thought that I can’t do it. I’m too afraid to even try.
How You Do One Thing… You Do Everything
Fast forward 15 years. I realize that backflips aren’t the only area of my life in which I have fear holding me back. I realize that fear holds me back from chasing after my dreams in so many areas:
- In business, I wasn’t taking risks…. because of fear.
- In relationships, I wasn’t going after what I wanted… because of fear.
- In life, I wasn’t pursuing my passions… all because of fear.
Fear was controlling my life.
Change Is More Than Possible, It’s Necessary
I knew that if I wanted to no longer be controlled by my fear, I needed to change my approach. Like Jim Rohn said:
My philosophy consisted of letting fear hold me back from that which I wanted. That’s a pretty sucky philosophy.
Long story short, I sought out a coach who taught me how to overcome my fear and adopt a philosophy that fear is a green light to take action. With this new mindset, I run in to face my fears, head-on.
And so, at 28 years of age, I decided to be a gymnast. 🙂
Here’s the moral of the story:
Imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination.
I tried backflips again. I landed on my head. I hurt my neck. I looked like an idiot. I’m okay with that, because it didn’t stop me this time. I kept moving.
It was a baby step, but it was a step…
- a step in the right direction
- a step in the face of fear
- a step toward my dreams
Now, almost 4 years later, I do backflips. I do them off of park benches, in the grass, on concrete, on first dates, for my nephew, off of cliffs, near, far, with a red fish or with a blue fish, etc. (Okay, maybe the fish part isn’t true, but you get the point)
I do backflips now, to symbolize that fear has no claim on us, except that which we allow. I am happy when I backflip, because I am reminded that I am bigger than my fears.
What is something that you fear?
Will you take action on it today?