Last week my wife and I, journeyed up north to Killiecrankie, to Highland Fling, to watch our oldest daughter (Megan) take one massive leap of faith!
The experience is described as follows: “The Highland Fling Bungee jump is a once-in-a-lifetime free-fall experience of 40 metres towards water from a bridge Bungee jump platform. An airborne flight of a few seconds at over 50 mph before a special Bungee jump cord springs you back to normal, upright, life.” And according to their website, it is the “most awesome adrenaline experience Scotland has to offer”.In addition “It is a personal challenge. A state-of-mind. An exploration of limits. A few seconds of heart-thumping bliss. An experiment with gravity. Great, exhilarating, safe fun.” I’m sure a number will now be convinced to go!! Are you mad!?
Upon arrival, we were greeted by some friendly staff. Megan then signed in, completed the relevant disclaimers, watched a safety video and got her harnesses on. As the only one jumping at the appointed hour, within a few minutes we got into the van and were on our way to the jump site. I was wonder-struck at the composure of our daughter as she approached such an event. We arrived at the site. Whilst my wife and I walked to the safety of the observation area under the bridge, Megan climbed the ladder to face her impending fate.
From a distance, we could see her holding on to her guide and hear the activities on the special jump platform, built high up in the rafters of the bridge. Some last minute instructions, some words of encouragement and then a few moments later, “3, 2, 1 BUNGEE” we saw a free falling Megan followed by a high pitched scream……Megan was on her way! My first thought was of Christopher Logue’s poem – which I have altered (ever so slightly) for this occasion… “Come to the edge… I might fall!… Come to the edge, …its too high… COME TO THE EDGE….And she came, And she pushed, And she Flew!!
She flew alright! As the bungee rope extended its full 40 metre length, something stirred in Megan’s blood…While maintaining a strict no nonsense demeanour throughout, suddenly, a pure rush of adrenaline finally burst through to the surface! On the way back up, she revealed one gigantic smile, that was almost big enough to reach from one side of the bridge to the other! Was it a sense of relief? Or perhaps it was one of absolute joy!
After a few more bounces and several big smiles later, a second rope was lowered down to Megan. Another few minutes and she was back onto the relative safety of the bungee platform. Her jump complete, she was still in one piece, safe and well, with a big tick to be added to one of the many items from her bucket list. Plus there was a huge sense of relief from mum and dad. It was all over and we could return home once again, all in one piece and alive to tell the tale!
So what did we all learn from that experience together?
- Face your Fear. Do the things that frighten you! It is okay to feel fear, everyone has them! We have our free agency to choose! What are you afraid of and why? Do you want to expand your business? Do you want to start a new job or career? Do you want to confront your boss and challenge him about things that have been bothering you? Are you considering retirement, but uncertain about what you’ll do next? Are you frightened of making a mistake? Are you struggling to stand up and give that difficult presentation to a challenging audience? Are you anxious about ending a relationship or beginning a new one? Are you worried about being rejected? Or is it simply that you are afraid to fail? Like Megan, she made the decision to face her fear…… and you can too. Like Megan all you need to do is take some simple steps, believe in yourself, develop more trust in your own ability to handle whatever comes your way and hold on to a guide who (like Megan) took her to the very edge. It is a relief to be led by others, who can show you the way. “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
- Come to the Edge. Move towards it! Action builds courage. Stop letting the fear stop you. As you move towards the edge, just like Megan who placed great trust in her guide, with that final piece of encouragement “3, 2, 1, BUNGEE”, the fear will pass. Ask family, friends, peers, work colleagues for support and encouragement. We must learn to walk to the very edge of the light we know, and then with a few steps into the darkness, the light will appear and show the way before you. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it” – Victor Hugo
- Let go. What are you holding on to? There will come a time for all of us to let go of something or someone. It is time to release yourself. For some of us, it will be a difficult relationship, the death of a loved one, leaving a job, saying goodbye to a well respected colleague for the last time, well worn material possessions, perhaps it could even be moving home. Or it may be some feelings of resentment and an unwillingness to forgive someone that may have offended you, perhaps in the workplace that has prevented you from moving forward in your career or even life. This kind of emotional baggage can be detrimental to your health and well-being. Just like Megan who decided to do her bungee jump, there came a moment, whilst on the very edge, in order to move forward, she had to choose to let go. Likewise, if we are to free ourselves from past experiences, we have to choose to let it go. Whatever or whoever that may well be. Hope will provide a brighter day for you and the sun will shine again, things will not be difficult forever. I believe that most people will find this act alone extremely empowering, knowing that it is their choice to either hold on to the pain of the past, or to live a future life without it.
A few mad, crazy and absolutely insane seconds resulted in the biggest smile that some proud parents had seen their daughter share for a good while. Likewise, as you face your fear, come to the edge and let go, something great will come of it all!
So what do you think?
- Why is facing your fears a hallmark of authentic leadership?
- What can I do to help my team face their fears one by one?
- How can you use this post to create a more visionary organisation?
- Do these principles apply to my team members?
As a coach (guide), facilitator (the guide on the side) and trainer (the sage on the stage – another guide with some knowledge and ideas!) I love to work with individuals, leaders, teams and organisations to help them grasp their true potential, find their purpose, achieve goals and enhance performance…
- Find out more about us, our work and how we may be able to help you or your organisation at www.ConsultF5.com