It isn’t working anymore. Maybe it was never working.
The idea that you can sit on the sidelines wishing, waiting, and hoping for life to happen to you someday.
You know it isn’t working because you’re in the exact same spot as you’ve always been. You feel stuck, frustrated, and exhausted. You might even feel alone.
Nothing ever changes and you’re starting to lose faith in yourself.
Are you really capable of digging yourself out of this hole you’ve been buried in?
Yes! It’s time to get out of your head and leap headfirst into your life. You’ve put it off long enough and this procrastination is drowning you in apathy. It might not literally kill you, but it’s absolutely killing your self-belief, spirit, motivation, and enthusiasm for life.
It’s sapping your energy, stealing your hope, and at that point, you’re the walking dead. You spend the majority of your time questioning why these things never happened for you and… if they ever will.
There are consequences to not taking the leap. Just look around, the consequences are staring back at you every morning you stand in front of the mirror. The consequences show in your bank statements, in your body language, your relationships, deep sighs, and lack of sleep. They’re reflected in your inner voice that won’t stop asking you “Is this all there is?”
No, this isn’t all there is. Right now, it’s all you’ve taken, but that comes down to choice. Today, you can make a different choice. Today, you can actively choose to get out of your head and leap into life.
Let me be clear, this doesn’t mean that life isn’t working for you in some respect. Your life might be working, but there could still be a leap you know you need to take. In fact, this is often the most difficult circumstance to be in. You may look at your life and see everything you’ve accomplished and have absolutely everything you thought you wanted, that others told you to want. Yet, you feel as though there’s something missing.
Spoiler alert: It’s the leap. That’s what’s missing.
Taking The Leap
What is a leap? What counts? Do I have to ditch western civilization and retreat to Tibet to commune with nature and learn from monks? Does it mean quitting your job and opening a business? Is it about bungee jumping despite your fear of heights?
The reality of the leap is that it can be whatever you want it to be.
Your leap could be small, so small that it would seem completely inconsequential to everyone else, but to you, it’s the boldest step you could take. For example, a leap would be sending an email to a recruiter who will help you transition from your current position to a new one. It could be sitting down with your partner to discuss a deep issue with your relationship. It might be finally making your dream come true by indulging your side hustle.
It isn’t the magnitude of your leap that matters, it’s that the leap matters to you.
It’s inexplicable, but you feel this tug. It’s this magnetic feeling that’s strongly drawing you, pulling at you.
Every leap requires you to make a decision. It might be a decision that you’ve been avoiding, you’ve been putting it off, but it’s time to finally make the call.
There are consequences here if you don’t make a decision, the stakes are sky-high. By taking the leap you face an endless stream of possibilities. There’s always a risk, every leap you make comes with risk. There’s a degree of risk with every decision you make (or don’t make). Up until this point, you’ve been playing it safe. You’ve avoided the leap and it’s going to hurt you more if you keep putting it off.
Thus far you haven’t been taking leaps, and in not doing so it’s going to hurt you more than a perceived failure or the consequences of taking it. At this point, you’re probably wondering what you’ve been waiting for.
You’re here reading this right now so, it’s obvious that you’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to happen. The more you put it off, the more you wither watching your dreams flutter by out of reach. You’re not living your life, it’s someone else’s life.
Don’t Play It Safe
As you embark on this journey you should treat it for what it is — an adventure. When you take the leap, it helps drive you to a decision. There are so many reasons why you might be here right now. You might feel a bigger calling, it could be that you know you’re on the wrong path or, perhaps you’re tired of playing by everyone’s rules. Finally, it could be the quiet whisper of your inner voice begging you to put it all on the line and take the leap.
That quiet whisper comes when life slows down. It’s in the still moments. Everything else has quietened down and you can finally hear the call. Life can be intense, it’s fast-paced, and that makes it difficult to remain in tune with your inner voice.
Hopefully, this will help you recognize that voice and encourage you to take the leap. The quickest way to slide into mediocrity is to convince yourself that there’s only one leap to take. Life is a series of leaps, it’s just that your story begins with one.
Once you make the first leap, the second becomes a little bit easier, and the third even easier, and so on. That doesn’t mean the fear of a leap will disappear altogether. It’s always challenging to take a leap, especially if you feel as though you’ve something to lose by doing so. It’s easier to take the leap and take a chance when there’s nothing to lose.
It’s why we find it so difficult to leave a toxic job. It may be slowly killing you, but it provides you with safety and security. It’s difficult to take a leap away from that and risk losing everything. Yet, if you don’t take the leap, you’re going to watch your passion fizzle away as you slip back into mediocrity.
What you need to take the leap is to become comfortable with failure.
Think about it.
It’s risky to start a business.
It’s risky to move across the country to take a new job.
It’s a risk to ask someone out and potentially face rejection.
It’s risky to take a leap on your dreams.
If you’re wrong about any of these things, what’s the biggest worry? It’s failure. It’s having people witness that failure, trying to bounce back from that failure, but why does failure have such a stigma? If you fail it isn’t the end. Failure simply means that you need to take a different route to success. You’ve hit a dead end, just turn around, apply the lesson and keep moving forward.
There’s this pervasive attitude where we feel as though playing it safe is the best choice. If we simply fall in line and dream realistically, we can’t fail. Take the road most frequently taken, follow in the well-trodden paths of others and for this, you’ll be rewarded handsomely. That doesn’t provide you with happiness, though, does it? Playing it safe is the recipe for mediocrity, but it’s the quickest way to find yourself living someone else’s life. With that life comes a series of expectations, the expectations of others.
Your inability to handle even small risks has created a life lacking fulfillment. You’ve allowed the illusion of safety to drain your energy and happiness. As you started, you had a calling so deep it burned within you like a wildfire. Now it’s been reduced to ashes. Your four-lane highway has been reduced to a one-way street.
It’s your perception of risk that’s put you in this position, but if you take the leap the world will be filled with opportunities. Let’s take a look at the many benefits of getting out of your head and leaping into your life.
The Journey of Self-Discovery
There’s nothing greater in this life than truly knowing yourself. It opens up a whole new world. Well, when you get out of your head and leap head-on into your life, you’re embarking on a voyage of self-discovery.
When you step out of your comfort zone and embrace discomfort, you’re challenging yourself. For example, can you remember the first time you went on a solo trip? Whether it was hopping on a plane to visit grandparents in another state, summer camp or otherwise, it’s daunting. On the one hand, you feel liberated to be away from the control of your parents.
Yet, there’s a part of you that feels terrified at the prospect of being away from your parents. That doesn’t stop you from exploring, dreaming, trying new things, and growing, though. You set the fear aside and go for it.
When you overcome that initial fear to do the thing you learn a lot about yourself. It’s never easy to find yourself, especially when the world is trying to influence and shape you. This is adulthood, it isn’t like going to summer camp as a kid.
To discover yourself now, it’s up to you and your leap to facilitate growth. Your old environment is holding you back, the unknown is where you find yourself.
It’s easy to fall short in this. We do what you think is right, we do what we think others want us to do, and we don’t place enough value in personal opinions. You have to take the leap. In the leap lies your path to enlightenment.
The Journey of Making Yourself Whole
To find happiness and satisfaction in yourself, you must take chances and chase your dreams. Part of that is understanding yourself. When people talk about getting to know themselves or truly understanding themselves, they’re not talking about surface-level understanding.
It isn’t knowing your favorite color is red or that your favorite drink is a margarita. It’s more than just knowing what your hobbies are or what type of music you prefer. It’s knowing your soul, who you are at the core of you.
Self-actualization leads to making yourself whole, which is your highest need. This brings fulfillment and contentment. Happiness doesn’t come from external sources, it’s within you. It takes a lot of work to truly understand yourself, though.
We fall into this trap of taking everyone else’s perceptions on as our own. We follow the preset, the default pattern of what everyone else does. We simply melt from phase to phase of life, never taking time to reflect. We never step outside of our comfort zone.
Taking the leap helps you evolve and grow. As you push yourself further, you grow calmer and more patient. You grow in wisdom, intuition, and self-knowing. You can’t experience joy and wholeness unless you push yourself to take the leap. It’s never too late.
The Journey of Invigoration
It’s scary to leap into the unknown. It gets easier the more you do it, though. Beyond that, it’s invigorating. Think of an area of your life where you’re quite adventurous. Perhaps you’re willing to eat anything at least once.
When you share with people the fact that you had live octopus, geoduck, and cocktails last weekend, you enjoy the buzz you get from their reaction. When you feel bored, you just go eat something unusual and feel great about it. Imagine replicating that feeling across the board.
Life is a lot more invigorating when you can get excited about throwing yourself into the unknown. There’s something about it that forces you to believe in yourself.
If you feel nervous about taking the leap, think about a time when you did something spontaneous. Didn’t you feel better for it? Sure, you felt fear at the start, but by the end you were glad you did it, right? If you’re struggling to come up with anything, it’s time to go on a spontaneous adventure.
You Will Be Free of Fear
One of the biggest reasons we hesitate and fail to take the leap is fear. The unknown is too scary to dive into. Why would you get out of your head and leap head-on into your life when you have no clue what will happen? The world is full of uncertainty, but you still have to throw yourself into it.
The only way to squelch your fear is by getting out of your head and leaping head-on into your life. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone you’re breaking away from fear. This initial act will help you build the mental strength you need to continue taking leaps. You reach a point where you’re used to battling fear and it suddenly doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
Can you think of a time you overcame fear and jumped out of your comfort zone? Think about this. You’ve moved (whether it’s a job or across the state). It’s terrifying, but it’s your opportunity to move yourself closer to your authentic self and build the life you want. You’re so far outside of your comfort zone that you have no other choice but to sink or swim. So, you swim for your life. You establish yourself, you find new friends, you grow in confidence because there was no other choice. What else could you have done?
That’s how you should think of every leap. Don’t think about the fear and allow it to hold you back. Take the leap and overcome your fear while you’re in it. It works. If you believe in yourself, then you’ll achieve everything you want.
You Will Be Intuitive
There’s something intuitive about getting out of your head and leaping head-on into your life. We often make decisions that we base on our hearts and feelings. For years, you’ve been focused on allowing your head to lead. You analyze every decision, unable to move forward until you’ve broken it all down to tiny parts. Then you make your decision. That’s all well and good, but that tends to lead to paralysis. We overanalyze everything and we never move forward.
Allow your intuition to guide you into the unknown. The liberating happiness you find when you get out of your head and leap head-on into your life will help you build self-trust. We’re all going to experience disappointment in life, but when you allow your intuition to guide you, you won’t experience regret.
You Will Find Freedom
Do you know what else comes with getting out of your head and leaping head-on into your life? A total sense of freedom. We allow ourselves to be caged by our perception of the world, the beliefs we’ve fallen into and never questioned, and our attitude that’s been shaped by the world around us. When you learn to let go of how you think everything should be, when you give up on trying to be right all the time, when you allow things to be, you find freedom and joy.
We’re all victims of the rules we live by. It requires a lot of personal development to reach a point of perfect peace of mind. The reason we easily get caught in the web of the comfort zone is that it’s easy, it feels safe, and it’s life by the prescribed rules that have been set for us. Taking the leap head-on into life is leaping into freedom.
You Will Achieve Greatness
If you want to achieve greatness, there’s only one way to get the ball rolling and that’s by getting out of your head and leaping head-on into your life. The majority of people worry about failure when we think about stepping into the unknown. We think about the danger that comes with quitting a toxic job.
We worry about the regret we may feel about walking away from a bad relationship. The idea of moving somewhere new is terrifying, even if we know deep down it’s the right thing to do. How do you think you’ll achieve greatness if you can’t push yourself out of your comfort zone and take a leap into the unknown? You can’t.
When you live the life you’ve been told to lead, you stumble from one event to another. You’ll experience joy at times, but there will also be sadness, rejection, and disappointment. That’s true of any path you walk in life. That’s just life. It’s much easier to bounce back from the negativity when you feel free and empowered to take risks. If you want to achieve greatness, then you can’t continue living in the comfort zone.
You might be able to paint a wonderful picture in your head, but it isn’t real. Daydreams are wonderful, but they’re not real. The only way you can turn those pictures and dreams into your reality is by getting out of your head and taking a leap head-on into life.
The most successful people in the world don’t sit waiting for opportunities. They go out and make opportunities for themselves. They follow their passion, they build their talents, and they chase success. You can chase success, too. You can truly enjoy your life.
All it takes is the courage to get out of your head and leap head-on into your life. What is it that holds you back from leaping from the comfort zone? Is it fear? Does it just feel easier to stay put? You can’t find happiness staying put — you’re worth more than that and you should push yourself to achieve your dreams.
George J. Ziogas is an HR Consultant with 15+ years of experience across a number of industries with a specialization in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). He is a qualified vocational instructor/teacher and personal trainer. George is also a blogger and top writer in numerous categories/tags on Medium. He speaks several languages (English, Greek, Macedonian), and enjoys working out/keeping fit, music, reading, and traveling. He is married and lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
Image courtesy of Rachel Claire.