By Michael Gunther
On the tip of Oia, Greece there is an outcropping of rocks jutting out into the Aegean Sea that is known for amateur cliff drivers attempting this risky sport. Being one who likes to challenge myself, I decided to test my amateur cliff diving capabilities. Both the path to the cliffs and the actual shelf of the platform used to dive into the sea provided me with an opportunity to reflect on how we so often approach goals or challenges in our life. The mental processing and the fear of the act sometimes are scarier or harder than the act itself.
As I contemplated the jump on what seemed like a larger than life ledge overlooking the sea, my spouse was telling me all the reasons as to why I shouldn’t jump. He spoke about my swimming skills, he thought he saw jelly fish, he said “I don’t know how deep it is,” etc. His consistent “what if” scenarios made me question my desire and will to jump. I stood on the perch and stepped back, I started to question my own fear and aspiration to perform the jump. I began to lose my passion for this goal and questioned if I should really be jumping off a cliff.
After what seemed like an eternity, I spotted some young kids jumping in with their dad and immediately my mind went to – “you’ve got to be kidding me.” If they can do this, I certainly can too. So, with all my fear and apprehensions tossed aside, I backed up onto the platform and then pushed myself forward with a sense of ambiguity and excitement. Down I went into the blue-green water, noticing the amazing views surrounding me as I descended into the unknown water conditions. The thrill and adrenaline rose within me as I ascended toward the surface. I completed my dive. I did it. No jelly fish, no shallow water, no swimming challenges. I faced my fears and made it happen.
This experience made me contemplate how often we create our own fears and mental blocks when achieving our goals or creating new experiences for ourselves. Does so-called logic kick in and discount our aspiration? Do you have others providing support or discourse? Also, is the fear larger than it should be? I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t be cautious and educated as you approach new goals, but don’t let the naysayers and your own fear prevent you from not achieving what you want to accomplish.
Are you standing on the proverbial cliff, afraid to take the dive to achieve your own goals? What can you do to shift your mental conversation and just dive right in? You may be surprised to realize that the fear is greater than the actual consequences of jumping. Remember: a life lived in fear is a life half lived.
Image source: stock-footage-santorini-greece-july-fisheye-cliff-jumping-in-santorini-greece