Relaxing Into the Fall
“When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” ~Edward Teller
You know that feeling that you get when change is in the air?
I’m not talking about autumnal change, although we’re certainly on the cusp of that.
I’m talking real, soul-bending, faith-testing change.
Big or small, intentional or unexpected, it’s those changes that trip us up, make us waiver. We stand on the edge, tensing and railing against the storm, out of resistance or fear or reluctance (and aren’t they all the same thing in the end?)
Like life, business is – without a shadow of a doubt – full of change, strewn with sharp turns and deep puddles, tall buildings meant for leaping and giant fucking cliffs daring us to take that next step. Moving forward means climbing, jumping, and obstacle-busting. This is the hard stuff. This is the stuff that separates the entrepreneurs and lifers from the hobbyists and dabblers: the willingness to make the effort, to navigate the scary shit, to take the chances.
To fall into nothingness and trust that whatever’s on the other side is worth falling for.
It’s a bit like falling in love, that.
Learning how to fall
If you’ve ever participated in any sport with a high probability of bodily crashing, you’ve probably learned how to fall. It’s not so much a technique as it is a state of mind. In grossly oversimplified terms? You don’t tense up when you fall. You relax into it. (Ever watched a skateboarder take a huge vertical fall and walk away? That’s how.) It’s totally against your instinct, but it will keep you from getting hurt (or get you less hurt than you would be if you tensed up.)
Relaxing into the fall protects you from injury and harm. But when the fall is metaphorical, assuming your business doesn’t involve the potential for literal free-fall, what can you do to protect yourself?
- Have faith and trust that you’ll fly, crash, or land – because those are the only possible outcomes.
Faith in yourself, faith in source, or faith in something else entirely – the what doesn’t matter as much as the existence does.
- Chill with the consequences/outcome.
What’s the worst that can happen? Are you willing/able to breathe through and learn from the outcome, no matter what it is? Mistakes and failures can bring great wisdom (and not every unexpected outcome is a failure!)
- Get help.
Talk to a friend or colleague, work with a mentor or coach, or dig deep inside yourself, but get outside your fear brain and rock the external perspective. There’s solid insight waiting there.
- Remember your why.
Why are you doing this? Not your to-dos or the line items on your budget, but the real why, the thing that got you started and keeps you going.
- Start, and keep going. (Practice!)
Just like going limp during a freefall, relaxing into your business falls doesn’t come easy. It takes not only a willingness to learn, but the drive to keep trying until it becomes second nature.
What do you need in order to free fall into your next big (or small) change?