Last week I talked about dabbling outside your comfort zone and the benefits of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. There’s another element that comes into play when stepping outside of your comfort zone and that is trust.
- Trust in your ability to accomplish what you want.
- Trust that anyone or anything you need will appear as your need dictates it.
- Trust that you can overcome any obstacles or weather any storm.
In other words, you need to take a leap of faith. By definition, a leap of faith is the act of believing in or accepting something intangible or unprovable without empirical evidence.
Throughout my life I have taken leaps of faith. That said, I know that the leaps I’ve taken over the years have different characteristics.
The components that classify my leaps have had direct correlation to who I was and where I was at that time in my life. Here’s how I would label each type of leap:
- The analytical leap of faith
- The leap of faith with toehold
- The leap of faith without a net
The analytical leap of faith
As I’ve told you before, I like to analyze and gather facts when making decisions. I look at my options, prepare as best I can and then make my move. I get a sense of security when I feel that I’m prepared.
In 2003, I launched a business called Tutor Angel. It was a customer service business that provided 1-on–1 tutoring for people who wanted to learn how to use a computer.
I spent months preparing guides and worksheets that I thought would be important material for each of my would-be clients. I tried to anticipate what their needs would be so I would be thoroughly prepared. In the end, I think I used maybe 10% of what I had created. Complete waste of time? Maybe … or maybe not.
Looking back at that time, the analysis and preparation were really important to me. I didn’t look at it as reducing fear/anxiety but that’s exactly what I was doing. Fear of being ill-prepared kept me from moving forward. So by writing all those materials, I was reducing my level of anxiety/fear.
I still look at this business launch as taking a leap of faith because I did get out of my comfort zone and I did venture into the unknown. However, in this case, I felt the need to get things in order before I actually jumped.
The leap of faith with toehold
There are going to be times in a person’s life when it just isn’t feasible or doable to completely change course. Financial responsibilities or family responsibilities are just 2 examples of real life issues that cause people to pause.
I, for one, do not like to worry about money. For my entire adult life, I always have worked and earned money to support myself. Not doing so is really foreign to me and it makes me anxious. So for part of this year, I kept a toehold in the engineering world. I did some engineering work part-time AND I worked on getting my book published.
Keeping a toehold in the engineering world gave me a sense of security. It was a safety net in case I might fail. I still was able to move forward with my book just not nearly as quickly as I would have liked.
The leap of faith without a net
To me the “Leap of faith without a net” is the quintessential leap of faith. I would describe it as “boldly venturing forward where you have not gone before.” No preparation, no analysis, just put one foot in front of the other and see where it takes you.
My friend, Ann Tardy, at LifeMoxie, is a shining example to me of someone who takes a leap of faith without a net. Heck, Ann will get a running start on that cliff and gracefully leap as high and as far as she can. If she is scared or anxious, you’d never know it. She exudes confidence like no other person I know. I have seen her bring to fruition an idea she had to create a conference that would help to empower women. She set a hard and fast deadline of when and where the event would take place and then she went about figuring out how to make it happen. Several months later her empowerment conference took place and it was a fabulous success.
Ann’s belief and trust in herself propels her forward. Failure is not in her vocabulary. Ann knows that whatever she chooses to take on, she will make it happen.
Take a leap of faith
I firmly believe that if we dare to dream big and take action toward that dream magic will happen. Is it divine power, good fortune, luck, serendipity? I really don’t know. All I know is that I choose to believe in the magic that will come when I take a leap of faith.
In September of this year, I chose to release my toehold and am now taking a leap of faith without a net. I don’t know that it will be as bold and daring as any of Ann’s ventures but that’s okay. I have to be true to who I am and I have to set a pace that works for me.
No matter what your circumstances are, if there is a dream or a passion you wish to pursue then find a way to go after it. Whether it be analytical, toehold or without a net, it matters not the type of leap you take; it just matters that you take one.