Vulnerability and risk are important aspects of life. If you don't embrace them you become stagnant. Here's why you haven't lived until you've leaped...
In the short time I've been alive, I've come to realise that some things are just worth the risk. I've expressed my thoughts on uncertainty before, and a few years ago I wrote on how I feel about change. Every time I put myself in an uncomfortable position I feel crazy, but I can't even begin to describe how much these 'leaps' have helped me grow as a person.
So now, these days I tend to chase situations that make me feel uncomfortable. Situations that may feel scary and overwhelming in the moment, but eventually open multiple doors, some of which lead to unimaginably beautiful possibilities.
You have not lived until you've leaped. If you confine yourself to your comfort zone, you won't learn anywhere near as much as someone who doesn't. The comfort zone may look cosy and easy, but most of the time, the comfort zone isn't safe.
Because while others are living, hurting and learning, you're being pampered in a comfort zone that is in no way reflective of the rigours of real life. Remaining in the comfort zone puts you back and prevents you from arming yourself with the qualities and skills you need to be a valiant warrior.
Doing things that scare you helps you experience the beauty and richness of life.
The more I make mistakes and allow myself to be vulnerable, the more I get feedback - whether through an internal loop or externally. Literally, you live and you learn. Although I hate the specifics of each painful situation I have to go through, I recognise and appreciate the role that the painful experience has had in subsequent successes.
Taking leaps has made me stronger. I don't take things at face value anymore. I understand that there are many layers to every problem but also that no problem is too large to overcome.
It has also made me more confident, as you probably would have guessed from the last sentence. Putting myself in vulnerable positions has taught me the value of both self-respect and being able to laugh at yourself. The balance of those two things is KEY.
I've put myself in awkward situations where there really is no right or wrong way to go. Insight is gained through experimentation and the reflection that comes after, and even those processes are iterative.
No one can tell you everything. There are many important lessons that are only learned through the process of leaping and landing - however that turns out.
What's quite noteworthy is the fact that a leap you took may cause you distress for quite some time until you're able to come to terms with the whole situation - the before, middle and after.
It's important to be honest. And the truth is that it's not always smooth sailing. Sometimes you will leap and feel like an absolute failure. You will ask yourself why you did it 300 times afterwards. You will nervously wonder about what your life is becoming, who you're turning into. This is a relatable feeling no matter who you are. As you're reading this post maybe you're thinking about what this 'leap' in your life has been in the past, what it might be in the present and what it might look like in the future.
Leaping is uncomfortable. It racks up your heart rate and puts you out of breath. But eventually something wonderful happens when all the nagging, biting thoughts settle down and you realise how powerful and wonderful the leap you took was.
Eventually you make peace with yourself and with your future. And no matter how long it takes, you do eventually, because that's how we were created. Another reason you learn to handle it all is because a leap moves you from one side of the mini-world that is your life to another. The transition is inevitable. The mental transition may take some time after the physical, but it will follow without fail.
Some time after you land, your feet start to actually feel settled on the new ground. Your thoughts come to peaceful rest. Then you can move forward, without ever turning back to cling to the past. Not anymore.
No one will ever understand the leap you took as much as you do. Because your feet, not theirs, were moved. Only you felt the terrifying suspension as the force of gravity pulled you across the expanse.
But now you are here, and your face will never quite tell about all the stories you've learned. But the lessons will be evident, through the excellence and continuous improvement you achieve.
So don't be afraid to be embarrassed, to doing embarrassing things (who says it's 'embarrassing'?). Or to do things that seem overwhelmingly scary and beyond you. You know the reward you're after. And truly, courage will always be rewarded in one way or another. You might feel pain as you're flying through the air, but embrace it, embrace every second of it until your feet safely make firm contact with the ground.
Be happy, and not scared, not sad.
Because now you're really living.
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