You’ve been up on that diving board
Making sure that it’s nice and straight.
You’ve made sure that it’s not too slick.
You’ve made sure it can stand the weight.
You’ve made sure that the spring is tight.
You’ve made sure that the cloth won’t slip.
You’ve made sure that it bounces right,
And that your toes can get a grip –
And you’ve been up there since half past five
Doin’ everything… but DIVE.
~Shel Silverstein, Diving Board from “Falling Up” ©1996 Harper Collins Publishers
How many times has this been you, on the end of the diving board, doin’ everything but dive? It’s been me, more than once in my life. What can I say? I like to be prepared. I want to be sure. I want to minimize risk. Because if I dive…
What if I do a bellyflop?
What if I fall off the side?
What if I hit my head on the bottom?
What if just flat-out die?!
There is, of course, a slight chance that one or more of those things could happen. On the flip side is the strong chance that I’ll make a smooth, clean dive; maybe not perfect, but definitely amazing.
We so often get caught up in making sure every.single.detail is in place, and then when it’s time to make the leap, we hesitate. We decide we need just a little more information, to check things one more time, before we can jump.
If we don’t become aware of that pattern, we’ll never jump. We’ll just keep bouncing in place, thinking we’re making progress and doing something, when really, we’re just… bouncing.
When you trust yourself and trust the process, you discover that you can dive, again and again and again. You find out the water is friendlier than you thought, more inviting and warmer than you expected.
Sure, we’re still going to check for loose screws and sharp edges… at least for me, that’s part of my I’m-an-introvert-so-don’t-surprise-me personality. If I can prevent disaster, I will. And once I’ve done what I can, I do what I have to do, and DIVE with no regrets.
What diving board are YOU up on? What’s it gonna take to get you to DIVE IN?!?