Monday, September 20, 2010

What if?

I was contemplating the “what if” idea this morning. I wonder how many people shy away from doing something they would love to do because of the “what if something went wrong” statement.

How many things have we held ourselves back from because we are afraid that the outcome is not what we’d like it to be? Instead of asking, “What if I don’t get what I want?” maybe ask, “Well, what if I do?” The Wright brothers would have never flown an airplane with failure in mind.

Tackling your fears

I took a few years of classes with a spiritual teacher in Denver. One of the exercises she had her students do was something that was outside of one’s comfort zone or something that is a fear thing for them. So for instance, a fear thing for me would be to go up to the top of a three-story building and look down. I don’t have any problem looking down from an airplane or the Empire State Building, which I have been to the top of, but I do have fear of heights when there is depth perception. Some of my friends, who were challenged with this exercise, went skydiving.

I have been skydiving and paraponting. Paraponting is where you are attached to a parachute that is laid out open on the side of the mountain, when the wind is just right, you start running, the wind picks up the chute and then it’s just a matter of gliding down to the bottom. What a fantastic experience they both were! The scariest thing about skydiving was riding up in that dinky little airplane. I thought that thing was going to fall out of the sky at any moment.

Are we wiser?

The question is, “Would I engage in any of these activities now or would the ‘what if something went wrong’ statement get me?”

Certainly, things change when we get older. We are wiser and more mature so therefore don’t engage in some of the crazy activities any longer. I wonder if some of the joy of life gets sucked out that way.

My husband wants Louie to play tackle football. I’m pretty sure that Louie would love the opportunity to play but he can’t even imagine it because I am so against it. Am I being fair to him by imposing my fears on him? What if he totally enjoys it and has a blast?

The return policy does not apply to life experiences

I have a hard time buying something that’s a final sale because I love the return policy. I love buying something and trying it out at home to see if it truly fits. Life, fortunately, does not come with that same return policy. The only way to see if something truly fits is to try it out. The only way to experience something is to actually engage in the activity.

What’s holding you back from running a marathon, taking a month vacation in Indonesia, applying for a job that is not your specialty, starting your own business, surfing, skydiving, and the list goes on? Why wait until these become part of your bucket list? Go for it now!

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Maybe I will go skydiving again!

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