Facebook does a great job of reminding me of my past. All of the good and all of the tough moments are right there waiting for me each day - and each day I have a choice whether or not to revisit them. Usually I do, and I'll smile at family memories, laugh at my hokey jokes, and learn something new about myself that I didn't or couldn't see in the moment. Every now and then I run across a "Holy CRAP I did that?!," moment that completely blows me away; events so unlikely that I can hardly fathom my own courage to venture out into the unknown - a true leap of faith. We all have them in one form or another. Some are more grandiose and noticeable than others.
Taking any leap of faith is hard. We generally don't know what's on the other side and often have no way of knowing just how long we'll be in the air. It is this uncertainty that can lead to discouragement and the anti-pep-talk out of whatever our leap may be. Don't get me wrong here, there are nagging notions of doubt and there are stomach clenching warning signs. These are two separate experiences of which the latter can help guide us safely out of harm's way. But overcoming the self-doubt that stalls our jump yields more benefits than we could ever imagine in the moment.
Why does it work?
A Leap of Faith Inspires Others: you never know who's watching you work. What they see in you may encourage them to take their own leap of faith, after which they will likely thank you through encouragement or by actually telling you just how much your action impacted them.
A Leap of Faith Says I'm Ready: when you work up the courage to take your leap, you're telling yourself that you're ready to do what it takes to try. The notion that you can, encourages a positive chain of events that inspires you to repeat the process; try then learn, try then learn.
A Leap of Faith Ignites a Firestorm of Events that Propel us Towards Success: "I'm out here, now what?," is a common feeling that accompanies many leaps of faith. When we ask that question and seek to answer it we're often in search of positive results. Each answer is a step forward in the right direction which leaves us with a toolbox full of skills that we'll use along the way. The more we move, the more encouraged we are to continue until the question is answered. Baby steps, regular strides, and that fast purposeful walk adds fuel to our fire and drive to succeed.
A Case Study in Leapeth of Faithology
Today's memory from Facebook:
Four years ago to the day (and apparently the time according to this screenshot) I decided to take one of the largest leaps of faith in my life thus far. The decision: to turn my story, The Christmas Cookie, into a book and publish it for others to read - AACK! The copious amounts of judging, the naysayers, the hate - oh the hate; I had delayed pushing forth my writing for so many reasons in the past but my "whatevs" filter was in place and I decided, "so what, I'm doing this". I set up our dining room as my art studio because we obviously weren't using it for dining purposes - I'm looking at you well positioned couch. What I did on that day set off a chain reaction of many years worth of events that eventually inspired me to create LaunchCrate.
I received some of the most humbling compliments when the book was released and I had a few inquiries of whether or not I could help them create their own books. I did not feel like I was adequately prepared to give any advice. But I logged that thought in the back of my mind. A couple of years passed and I wrote and illustrated another book - but I still didn't feel like an author. It took one awesome human to convince me otherwise. Such obvious words when you're on the outside looking in, "but when a child picks up the book, you're the author."
Ohmagaaaaaah! I'm an author, so weird.
I wrote another book, my third in total and second in this first series. Crazy that I just hinted that there's another series in the works right? Yep, they're coming. Multiple series. All of a sudden there are words that are yearning to get out and stories that I'm ready to publish...must find the time to write. Remember that thought that I logged - passing on this knowledge to others, I'm working on it. Hence, LaunchCrate. Just yesterday I had the chance to coach yet another author on their journey to publishing.
So today I sat in awe of that first step to put some duct tape on the mouth of my own internal hecklers, and the timing could not be more perfect. I'm sitting in the dining room which has been transformed into my office and I'm taking a brief moment from sketching some thumbnails of The Christmas Cookie Returns, to log my thoughts. What a pleasantly unexpected full-circle journey - all because of one leap of faith.