Getting Unstuck: How to get off the platform of your (psychological) zip-line

Today’s the day.

Today’s the day that one of my coaching clients will be zip-lining for the first time in her life, riding no less than nine different zip-lines to get down the mountain at a top-notch program near here.

In fact, she’s taking a whole group of women friends and making a day of it in celebration of her 50th birthday. That’s a wonderful way to celebrate, don’t you think?

And I don’t know the friends who are going, but I’ll bet there’s a mix of feelings in the group about what to expect.

Some will be thrilled. Excited. Eager. First in line.

Others will hang back a little. They’ll be troopers; they will give big smiles and say they’re happy to be there, but they may be scared to death inside.

And isn’t that exactly the way most of us feel before making a big leap in our lives? Ending an unhealthy relationship. Moving to a new city. Going back to college. Getting serious about your health.

Starting a business.

All big stuff. All exciting. Exhilarating even. And scary.

You have this Big Idea, a big dream, a goal with an Attitude, and it’s perfect. Suddenly, you can see exactly where it is that you want to go, exactly what it is that you’re supposed to be doing.

You’ve got your first steps figured out. You’ve got the name of your practice, the clients you want to serve, one or two programs or products in mind that you’re ready to develop. You’ve even got your eye on an office in town.

You’re ready to put up a website, create a Facebook page, and tell the world that you’re Open for Business.

But just before hitting “Send” on that first batch of emails, or “Publish” on that first, rough-draft website, you pause.

You hold your breath.

Think about it for a second.
Go get a cup of coffee.
Come back to the computer.
Make a few more tweaks in the copy.
Get ready to go.

Then you pause again.
Think about it for another second.
Go get another cup of coffee.
Come back to the computer.
Make a few more tweaks in the copy.
Get ready to hit ‘send’.

And again…

You’re stuck.

I’ve seen this happen many times on zip-lines (or when someone’s gearing up to do a rappel down a cliff – but I’ll save that story for another day).

Everything’s ready. All the safety mechanisms have been checked and rechecked. All the right support is in place. You know what to do, and you know everything will be fine. You’ve watched other people do exactly this, for heaven’t sake – and THEY made it!  

But you stand there, staring out at the line that stretches into your future, and you’re terrified to jump.

You don’t trust the cables. You don’t trust the harness. You don’t trust yourself. You worry about whether you’ll “do it right”; worry that you’ll do a spectacular crash landing on the other side.

You’re stuck on the zipline platform in your mind.

See – one of the hardest things about doing a zip-line for the first time is just stepping off the dang platform.

And one of the hardest things about launching a business is, well, launching the business.

At some point, you have to tell other people about what you’re doing. You have to invite them to engage with you. And you have to share – with confidence – your enthusiasm, and expertise, and your belief that you are someone they should do business with. :)

But launching a business means stepping off that old familiar platform of security, and letting go of a lot of things.

  • It means letting go of (the illusion) of financial security, as you become powerfully responsible for your own income.
  • It means letting go of blaming your boss, as you become happily responsible for your own success.
  • It means letting go of perfection, because running any business is a messy, imperfect, unfolding process.
  •  It means letting go of hiding, because you have to step out in to the world and allow yourself to be seen.
  • It means letting go of playing small, because you have to believe in your own value so that others will believe in it as well.
  • It means letting go of mediocrity, since you have just declared to the world that you intend to create something More.

No wonder you hesitate. :)

But here’s the good news.

When you DO step off that platform, you are in for the most powerful, thrilling ride of your life. Of course It’s scary. But it’s fun, too.

And you won’t believe where it will take you.

I never had ANY intention of owning my own business, much less three or four different businesses! But today, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So if you’re all strapped in, ready to fly – but find yourself frozen on the platform, feet firmly clinging to familiar territory, it’s okay. Take a deep breath. Do what you have to do to make sure all your safety and support systems are in place. If you need to, ask someone to help you get off the platform.

(An extra hug can help!)

And then…jump.

Seriously. Don’t take too long – because the longer you wait, the harder it gets.

I’ve jumped off a lot of platforms in my own life. If it would help, I’d be happy to do a quick 30 minute call with you to help you check your harness, before you make your own leap. Maybe a little coaching could help. Click here if you’d like to set that up.

And just know this.

You won’t fall.

You’ll fly.

I’m sure of it. :)


Photo Credit: Justin Jensen on Flickr

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