Whichever side of the planet you’re on, the winter months can mean down time for some people but I’m always ramping UP even more when the cold weather hits. For more than ten years now I’ve been an avid snowboarder. There’s nothing like that cold, crisp crunch when you’re sailing down those white slopes to make you feel more alive! It’s amazing how interconnected things are, though, because when I’m up there carving turns and watching that fall line, I seem to get as many lessons on life and business as I do on snowboarding.
Here’s just one of the parallels I see and even if you’re not a winter sports fan, I bet you can relate to an experience in your own life that illustrates the same idea. Each season when I head back out to the snow I notice that I tend to go slower on my first few runs… sometimes for the first few days of the trip. I catch myself holding back from FEAR (False Expectations Appearing Real). Can I hold my edge? Will I keep my balance? Am I judging that turn just right? Will I lose control? After a few runs I eventually get my confidence back, but it reminds me of the times I’ve allowed fear to hold me back in other areas of my life… personal and professional. I always pay a price for that because when I let it, fear can cost me freedom and an easier, free-flowing experience.
I’ve seen a pattern here that’s important because everyone who knows me knows that I’m an incurable adrenaline junkie! I’m a boater, a “retired” lifelong motorcyclist and a skydiver. What these experiences have taught me is that FEAR of the unknown has absolutely NO power to stop me when my mindset is in the right place. Not acting in the face of fear costs me everything. Acting in spite of the fear empowers me to gain anything. See, the costly mistake we often make is waiting to FEEL courageous before we ACT with courage. Believe it or not, it actually takes more energy to go slow and pull back from the fear than it does to simply release, allow, let go and soar. That’s something to think about. What rewards are you missing by holding back?
I won’t beat you over the head with the analogy because I think we all get it… whether you’re sliding down a mountain or just reaching for the telephone to make that big call, it’s a guarantee in life that moments will come when fear pops up. We can’t control the events in our lives… and often not even the emotions we have about them… but what we CAN control is the next choice we make… the next action we take.
The last snowboarding trip I took was in January 2011 in Park City, Utah. I was in the Salt Lake City area on a business trip and decided to stay an extra day to enjoy the mountains. Ironically enough, I ended up on the exact spot where I was standing when I first found this amazing, life-changing industry… The Canyons at Park City. When I walked away from a lucrative career as a Fortune 50 telecom sales executive to become a direct marketer, it was a lot like looking down that steep slope on the first day of a snowboarding trip. Did I have fear? Sure I did, but I made the run anyway and have never once regretted it.
Do you have the need for speed, or is fear holding you back? Push off on that run… whatever it is for you… and claim the rewards that are waiting for you along the way. You won’t regret it!