One of the most daring acts presented at a circus is trapeze artists performing without the aid of a safety net. In actuality, this is probably a fictionalized account of days gone by since that kind of thing would not be allowed in today’s regulatory environment. Why? For the safety of the performers, of course!
Rarely in life do we have a physical safety net when we set out to do something we have never done before. Perhaps we could take a lesson from this scenario and attempt to put some things in place to act as a safety net when we attempt something new.
This past week I had the opportunity to go zip lining for the first time ever. Several members of my family embarked on this adventure with the youngest participant being 4 years old. I was a little apprehensive but did not want to miss out on the family fun. Through this experience, I gleaned four thoughts that can help us try something new while still having protection like that provided by a safety net.
- The initial step is the scariest. One of the first items we learned when zip-lining was that we had to take a big step off the platform. The moment I stood at the edge and had to take the first step was the worst. As soon as I made that leap, I was flying along the line. I can also testify that starting this blog was the most intimidating step. After preparing and posting the inaugural article, the process has become easier.
- Do it with a group. As we progressed through the zip-lines, our guides suggested additional ways to spice-up the zipping adventure. One of the advancements was to fall off backward like a trust-fall. At first, I was not really keen on doing it, but if the others could do it then I sure had to try. A group who is attempting something new together can be a source of encouragement to one another. Positive peer pressure can also help stretch us in new ways.
- Trust the harness. From my experience going zip-lining, I learned the harness that straps you in is very secure. One cannot fall out of it, and there are multiple straps connecting to the actual line traveled. We must know the rules, procedures, policies, and guidelines that will give us the best chance of success in order to apply this concept to our lives. These boundaries are in place to provide protection and help us avoid as many problems as possible.
- Learn from a pro. Our guides on the zip-line adventure were absolute professionals. They used humor to put us at ease and demonstrated the crazy stunts we could attempt. Each of the two guides also provided tips on how to make the most of our experience. Several people who I respect regularly reference the benefits of employing a professional trainer. While I have not yet employed this technique specifically, I have heard that engaging a professional is one of the best ways to accomplish self-improvement.
Attempting something new can be challenging. It can cause so many emotions – fear, excitement, apprehension, reluctance – wrapped up into one experience. On a risk-taking continuum from risk-averse to risk-taking, I tend toward being risk-averse. My hope is that the ideas above can help those of you who are similar to me approach new experiences with a different perspective. With some safeguards in place, we can be more confident and improve our chances of success.
Question: What thoughts help you approach new adventures with confidence? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Sign up for updates and never miss a weekly post!