I wrote this piece way on letting go back in 2005 and the message is just as true today! How will you know until you try?
In Gail Blanke’s Book, Between Trapezes, she uses the analogy of a trapeze artist to illustrate the time of transition in one’s life. In order to move to the next bar, the trapeze artist has to first let go. It is then that they are able to fly, to soar towards their next goal. And they must have faith that there will be someone or something there to catch them.
I am ready to take the next swing in my life. My biggest one of recent times was when I decided to leave my job at IBM. Letting go of that security, that comfort, that stability was a terribly scary thing to do! I had people all around me telling me that I was going to fall, that I should never leave the platform. But there was that voice inside of me that said, “Don’t look down; look ahead.” I had to trust that I would be caught. And I was.
The next time I went to make my leap was in leaving my next job to start my own business. I had no idea what that was going to look like, but I knew that as long as I kept looking ahead, I would eventually be caught. I actually “flew” for quite a while before I figured out what I wanted to do. But having let go once before, it wasn’t quite as difficult. I had a faith now based in experience that I would land safely, even if I couldn’t imagine where that would be.
I started my own company and learned more about myself in the process. I discovered my strength, my determination and my passion. And now I am ready to leap again. I’ve proven to myself that I can let go. It isn’t even that scary to look down now, as long as I keep focused on the direction in which I’m headed. In fact, even the thought of falling isn’t terrifying. I know that I can get back up and start again, having learned something from the experience.
What in your life is keeping you back? What can’t you let go of? Is there somewhere you’d like to soar, but can’t take that first step? Ask yourself: is it truly that you can’t, or is it that you won’t? How do you know until you try?
When you are able to let go, even though you may be afraid, you enter the time of possibilities. It is a time of soaring, of experiencing life. Anything is possible. If you are able to shift your perception and attitude from one of fear and anxiety to one of anticipation and excitement, this could be a time like no other in your life.
For many people, the first step is nothing quite as drastic as leaving a job or relationship. It may be as simple as learning to say “no”. That first time, risking the disapproval or anger of others, can be daunting. But just like so many other things in life, once you do it the first time, it’s not as hard the next – or the next after that. Saying no when it is the right thing for you gets you more in line with yourself internally. It is a step towards self-honesty and integrity. It is a step towards achieving a feeling of balance.
So, when you find yourself in that transition time, or the possibility of letting go, consider the opportunity you have to discover more about yourself. Choose to focus on the freedom of the flight, on the soaring possibilities. Don’t look down or that’s where you’ll head. Stay looking forward and enjoy the ride. You’ll soon find that you’re looking forward to the next one. Maybe I’ll see you along the way!