I was bringing a group of ladies from Achievement Club to the dive tank as part of a challenge to overcome their fears.
And then I faced mine: the dive instructor didn’t show up.
Now, I can tell you this with all certainty. I never ask people do something I wouldn’t do. So I am no fraidy of heights and I know how to dive.
But suddenly I alone was responsible for 11 women of all different ability levels. Some had never been face-first in the water ever. Most had never jumped off a 3-metre platform, never mind a 5, 7 or (FML) 10 metre.
The biggest challenge I face daily, is knowing when to push my members, when to listen, when to talk, when to give them space. And the beautiful part of being human is that everyone is different. So I have mere moments to read and assess whether someone needs a kick in the ass or a pep talk or silence or Kanye lyrics. (No one gets a shove from the top of the platform, I promise.)
When they are standing there, they are not facing their fear of heights. They are facing the fear of failure. The fear of success. The wounded child inside. The voice in their head that tells them they aren’t good enough. The voice in their head that tells them to avoid scary things and stay the same because it is easier and familiar.
I am not only responsible for their physical safety, I am responsible for their mental well-being. I have to get them to leave their fear on the platform, and jump into the unknown, and trust that I, the uncertified-shitting-my-pants-proxy-dive-instructor have given them everything they need to know to emerge with more confidence than ever before.
One by one, we stood on the edge of our comfort zones with the choice to stay the same or choose a new level of living. All we needed to do was jump into the unknown.
And you know? WE F*CKING NAILED IT.
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