I sat at the public pool watching my daughter’s splash around and observed the other pool-goers. I made an important observation. There were two kinds of people at the pool: those who tested the temperature first by dipping in one toe and those who just jumped right in. You can probably guess that majority of the toe dippers were the grown-ups; people who wanted absolute certainty about wanting to get in the water before they did so. The jumpers were mostly kids. They weren’t as worried about the temperature. They were there to swim and have fun…and they went for it.
I’ve noticed these two different approaches playing out in other life situations too.
As a personal and financial development trainer, I get the privilege of helping women create action plans for change so they can live richer, more empowered lives. I’ve noticed that some women I work with are toe dippers. They have every intention of playing bigger and making their dreams become reality, but they hesitate in making it happen. They wonder, question, over-analyze, and put out little feelers before taking action. Before they get to work on creating more for themselves, they want a certain degree of certainty that the life they want to experience is really possible. They take one or two little, safe steps toward their dreams to see what happens before they fully invest.
Then there are the women who just jump in.
They know what they want and they go for it. They so much faith, trust, and belief in themselves that there’s no doubt in their minds that they can live a magical life. They know they deserve to experience their heart’s desires, live life to the fullest, and have the freedom and power that they seek. They don’t waste time by sitting around thinking or playing it safe. They take the leap of faith, take immediate action, and know that if things don’t work out as planned, they’ll shift gears and come up with plan B.
So, what’s your approach to life? Are you a toe dipper who waits for the right moment, gets stuck by analysis paralysis, or has an aversion to taking chances? Or do you jump right in with confidence, faith, and action? I can tell you the answers to these questions aren’t as simple as they seem. Most of us live like toe dippers but wish we were like those who jump in. Most of us are works in progress; we’re all trying to work on gaining more confidence and fearlessness so we can start jumping in to our ideal lives.
I’ve seen so many incredible women limit themselves and stay stuck in mediocrity (including myself for a long time) for a number of different reasons. Here are a few common roadblocks that keep you from jumping in:
1. We get hung up by perfection.
I’m so guilty of this. I’ve spent ridiculous amounts of time writing, revising, editing, and polishing my blog posts, videos, and online programs. I used to tell myself this was necessary in order to deliver high quality to my clients. Aiming for perfection was just an excuse to delay putting my ideas out there and risking criticism. It was a way for me to dip my toe in but not really gain the momentum and reach I truly wanted.
2. We try to operate in a vacuum.
If you’ve ever had an exciting idea or dream but never shared it with anyone, you’re trying to operate in a vacuum. You’re dipping your toe in by dreaming of the possibilities, but you’re not jumping in to make them come to life. When we articulate our heart’s desires and share our goals with others, not only do we gain accountability for taking action, but we also get the help and support we need along the path toward realizing our dreams.
3. We avoid entertaining our original ideas…or believe we don’t have any original ideas!
I see so many women with innovative, unique, and brilliant ideas stifle their originality by looking to other’s who they deem as superior. It’s incredibly common for women to go with the grain and agree with the standard rather than pushing boundaries and challenging norms. When you speak on a topic you’re passionate about and only share the mainstream ideas of other people, you’re hiding your real voice.
You’re dipping your toe in by sharing ideas, but you’re not jumping in by sharing your original, unique, and controversial ideas. Worse yet, so many women believe they have no original ideas! They feel like frauds or phonies who are just copying what’s already been done before. Guess what? It’s ALL been done before, but not by YOU! Everyone is just recycling ideas and questions that have been explored before, but you might look at things in a completely original way.
4. We think we need degrees, formal training, or previous experience in order to do something worthwhile.
Here’s a sampling of excuses I’ve heard: “I can’t start a business, because I don’t have a business degree”. “No one will read my blog, because I’ve never taken a writing class”. “I couldn’t possibly start my own gardening co-op, because I know nothing about gardening”. Can we all stop selling ourselves short?? You don’t necessarily need the degree, the formal training, or the previous experience to do what you’re passionate about. Just jump in. You need the desire to learn, the willingness to make mistakes, and the courage to take risks. That’s it. Everything else you can learn along the way. Go to YouTube. You’ll find all the answers.
So, now you know what to avoid if you want to start jumping into life instead of wasting time with toe dipping. Think back to those kids at the pool. Look at how they choose to live their lives. They live freely, fully, and unafraid. They know what they’re here for, and they don’t deny themselves the joys of life. They jump right into the pool, because that’s what they came for, and nothing is going to keep them from having the fun experience they’ve been wanting. Live like that. Jump in. Stop denying yourself the joys of life by playing it safe or staying small.
Nicole Iacovoni is a personal & financial development trainer, author, and motivational leader dedicated to helping you create a life of happiness & prosperity. Her work is centered around personal growth and holistic health and wealth building. Nicole takes an honest, straight-forward approach to helping clients identify where they currently are in their life’s journey. With expertise in how our DESIRES, EMOTIONS, THOUGHTS, and BELIEFS influence our success, Nicole helps clients create a concrete action plan for living the life of their dreams.