Have you ever been stuck on a diving board? I certainly have. It’s the worst feeling on the planet, especially if the pool is packed around you. There are people waiting in line behind you and spectators all over the place just waiting for you to make a fool of yourself. For some of us, we also have all kinds of videos playing in our heads with all the things that could go wrong…especially if you’re about to try something that’s a little out of your comfort zone. You’re pretty sure you can do it, but you’ve never done it before, so there are no guarantees.
There are some people who are high flying off diving boards. If this is you, you don’t even think about it. By the way, you nauseate the rest of us, but we love to watch and secretly live through you. You step up and do a back flip with a twist as if there wasn’t even a possibility you could fail and then you jump up there and crush a gainer nailing the landing perfectly. You live in a place some of us can only dream of. On the other side of the spectrum are those that may jump, but you’re not gonna try anything interesting. For those in that camp, I respect your decision. I mean, you have nothing to prove and why risk disaster? I totally get that. You may not even be interested in pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
I live in what I believe to be the worst place…somewhere in the middle. I have an internal need or desire to try new things, but I’m scared to death of it. What that ends up looking like is me being afraid before I get up there, second guessing myself while I’m up there and every once in a while, pulling off something at least somewhat cool. A trip to the pool is a win for me if I can get myself to get a little out of my comfort zone.
Here’s the thing, whether or not a diving board is your jam, I’ve become convinced that greatness cannot be achieved while living inside your comfort zone. They are mutually exclusive. I have yet to read a book or hear a sermon where the author or speaker talk about how they stumbled into success while living safely inside their comfort zone. Their breakthrough achievement ALWAYS involves doing or saying something that was terrifying to them. What’s worse, the fear didn’t even go away before they did or said that terrifying thing. They had to fight through it. It was on their shoulder the whole time, telling them they were gonna fail and how awful it would be when they did. And yet….
There was a deeper voice inside. A voice inside whispering to them that this is a divine moment. They didn’t have all the answers at the time. They didn’t necessarily know the opportunity cost of not doing whatever that challenging thing was. They just had a premonition that if they missed this moment, things would not be as good as they could be. I just heard a quote the other day that expresses this thought. It’s something like, “People tend to overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they could have by changing.” That’s not verbatim, but you get the point.
I may not know much about you, but what I do know is that the road to your God-ordained destiny is going to be paved with moments like these. Moments when you experience a great fear inside that is telling you that moving forward is a bad idea. In those moments, the overwhelming temptation will be to back down and stay in your comfort zone. But you’re also going to experience a voice inside that’s deeper than the fear. That voice will be saying, “Go for it. This is an opportunity you need to take. This is a moment you need to seize. Charge!” I’m not saying this is the case every time, but I do believe that sometimes, that voice is the voice of God. So, where are you stuck on the diving board? I love this quote from the movie, We Bought A Zoo….“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just, literally, 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” This is your moment, charge!
Here is one of those tiny moments where I overcame the fear just a little bit (-;