Sunday I had the pleasure of trying trapeze for the first time. It was a wonderful activity, and getting to the point of letting go and being caught by another swinger was one of the greatest feelings I have had in awhile. Before all that great stuff happens though, one must think about the takeoff. Trapeze starts at least 40 feet in the air on a tiny platform. From this tiny platform, the next step is to grab the bar and jump forward. Even with a net below, this takes an enormous leap of faith. I learned very fast myself that without this jump, the ensuing swing does not have nearly enough power, and any type of trick or catch will not be possible.
Climbing to the top is scary, there is nothing supporting you, and only a net 20 feet below can stop someone who falls. The platform provides a comfort zone of sorts, because reaching there provides momentary relief. Jumping off this platform is extremely uncomfortable and requires leaving the only thing in the area which feels safe, something which is very difficult to rationalize in our minds. But, without this jump, we can pretty much guarantee that our swing will be unsuccessful.
There are so many places in which the same idea applies. I spoke with someone this week who is starting a business. They have all the pieces in place, i.e. they have climbed the ladder, but now they have to leave their current job and a few other comfortable situations to give things a real chance. Without this jump, they will fail, that part is certain. With the jump, anything can happen, but reaching their big goals requires it. So, while it may be extremely uncomfortable, the question of making this jump is not if, but when. Waiting longer only will delay the goals.
A similar idea applies to starting a romantic relationship. One can date someone and be very guarded, never sharing themselves, never taking a big leap of vulnerability. Much like many people had great days on Sunday without swinging on a trapeze with me, being this guarded is a totally acceptable course of action. But, being this guarded also guarantees not moving forward with that relationship. If the goal is to move forward with a serious relationship, then the leap has to be taken at some point. It will be uncomfortable at times, and anything can happen as a result of this leap, but it may lead to something great.
Know when a leap is needed. To get what we truly want, we will have to leave our comfort zone at times. Leaps can be scary, but they can lead to something great.