Here’s the story that inspired the video.
I’d been bobbing up and down in the crystal clear waters for about 30 minutes now and was, if I’m honest starting to get tired.
The cloudless sky was a bright blue and the sun was beating down relentlessly. As beautiful and idilic as the scene was I was starting to get a bit sick of waiting and was starting to look towards the beach. I had an idea I could see the man selling coconuts and I was tempted just to swim for it. A coconut would be lovely right now. However, I stayed where I was, because I wasn’t alone.
My girlfriend Britt was standing, looking down at the water from a large rock about 10 feet above me. I had leapt form this same rock (that conveniently juts out over the water on that part of the Majorcan coastline) about half an hour ago. I wasn’t expecting Britt to follow me, but by the time I had come up for air feeling very pleased with myself for facing a fear she had already decided she was going to do this as well.
Now let’s be clear here, Britt is a perfectly good swimmer and due to some freakish natural buoyancy gift she has (a family trait apparently) she can pretty much float for hours without the slightest flap of her legs or arms. However, one thing she has never been comfortable with (at least after an unfortunate incident with an inflatable platform when she was young) is getting her head under the water. When we go on holiday and spend the day at the beach she will famously spend most of the day in the sea and still emerge without a single wet hair on her head!
So you can imagine how surprised I was to hear that she now wanted to jump into the sea from a raised rock platform! I was perhaps less surprised that quite some time later she was still standing there trying to manifest the courage to do this.
I tried some words of motivation:
“You’ll be fine, and once you’ve done this you’ll feel AMAZING! You’ll be so proud of yourself!”
Britt didn’t move.
I tried again:
“I’m here, you’re perfectly safe, and once you’ve conquered this you’ll know you can do ANYTHING!”
She didn't budge.
I’d just about run out of patience and motivational soundbites by now and I was pretty much certain she wasn’t going to do it. The coconuts were calling and so I did what all good boyfriends do and started to take the pressure off her and let her know that it doesn’t matter and we can always try again another day.
With that, something in her changed. She immediately started a purposeful run up and jumped straight in. I was stunned. She came up for air with a huge smile on her face and I swam over to give her a hug.
“That was AWESOME!” I said, “what made you suddenly do it?”
I was expecting her to say that in some way my words had inspired her to act and I suppose in a way they did…but not as I had intended.
“Once you started to talk about not doing it”, she said through her grin “I realised I would hate myself if I bottled out. I had to do it then!”
Sometimes the fear of regret outweighs the fear of taking action.
To step out of your comfort zone can be scary…but isn’t it scarier to just remain the same forever?
I was (as I always am) so proud of her and the happy ending we both wanted finally arrived when we just got back to the beach in time to catch Mr Coconut (which is, as far as I know or care his actual real name!).
Next time you are facing a fearful situation and you want to motivate yourself forwards, how about using your fear instead of letting it use you?
I like to think that some of my positive words did have an effect though. Now, whenever Britt faces something scary you can often hear her say, “Well if I jumped off that rock I can certainly do this.”
Take a look at this week’s video regarding fears, and why they are never irrational, but often inappropriate.
If you would like to learn my method of overcoming fear then click here to download the full CONTROL system training.
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