I remember my Dad teaching me how to dive.
He would stand in the pool while I stood on the side, toes wrapped over the edge.
He would hold out his arm at the height of my thighs and say, “Just lean over my arm and fall in.”
I would stand there, arms straight up over my head, hands clasped tightly, knees knocked together and slightly bent, toes gripping tightly to the side and I would lean over and take deep breath after deep breath, almost hyperventilating, staring into the depths below.
I’d lean over a bit further, gasp some more then straighten up and say, “I can’t.”
He’d reassure me and I’d go through the whole process again, and again, and again, until one day I tipped so far forward that I fell in.
Not only did I survive, I discovered it was fun! So I scrambled back out, anxious to do it over and over.
I’ve come to see that this was not a one-time occurrence. This is my pattern.
Whenever I want to try something new, I read about it, observe others, watch videos, dream about it, discuss it, take deep breaths, take classes, read some more, dip my toe in, quickly pull it back, take more deep breaths, repeat all of the above (more than once) then finally gain the courage to dive in head first.
And I have never been sorry.
9 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dad
- No matter how many deep breaths you take before you jump, it’s the last breath that keeps you from drowning. So stop hyperventilating, take one really big breath and dive in.
- If you lack the courage, prepare as best you can then lean far enough forward so that your momentum will take you the final step.
- Avoid shallow water, that’s for waders, not serious divers.
- You will survive (provided you’ve applied step #3).
- It will get easier each time you do it.
- This is a mental sport and you are your only opponent.
- Soon you will want to try from a new height, until that becomes easy.
- You will be glad you did it.
- You will wonder why you were ever afraid.
Share below when you struggled with the courage to try something and how it turned out.