The interesting thing with the idea of going back to the start is that you’re never the same as when you started. You’re different. You’ve changed. You’ve been through stuff, you’ve learned, you’ve experienced.
In my coaching days, one of my clients used the analogy of a high dive at a swimming pool to talk about pushing through things that were daunting. I loved that analogy and ran with it a bit for the sake of thinking through the process of starting new challenges and overcoming obstacles.
You climb the ladder to the highest high dive you see. It’s scary and exhausting, but you climb. Not everyone will climb with you, some will cheer you on from the sidelines, some may laugh at you or call you crazy, some will do their own thing and never even see you. But you climb and eventually you reach the top of the ladder and you slowly walk out to the end of the board. You can see so much from up there. You stand there, staring out, looking down. The fear of jumping grips you. Some get scared and climb back down the ladder. Not you. Eventually, you take a big breath in and you jump. You feel the air, anticipate the cool slap of breaking through the water. When you come up for air, it’s not just air that you’re breathing in, you’re inhaling a huge accomplishment. You did it.
You can repeat this process on the same high dive. The second time it’s still a little scary, but you’ve done it before so you know you’re capable. You can do it over and over. Sometimes the leap isn’t graceful. Sometimes you hit the water wrong and it hurts. You learn from the experience and go again.
For some, this will be high enough. You become a master, you teach others how to do what you’ve done. You push the boundaries of all the variations and ways possible to jump from this one amazing height.
Others crave more, and more will always exist. The need to search for higher dives will overcome you. You’ll search, you’ll find incrementally higher places to climb and leap from. High dive boards, cliff diving, sky diving…
Each time you’re standing at the base of another ladder staring up, it feels a bit insurmountable. As long as we start -one ladder rung at a time and don’t give up -you’ll eventually get to the top. Once you’re there the perspective shifts, the focus shifts.
The climb is a little different each time. Each time you figure out how to get to the top as you go, but you rely upon skills earned from all your previous experience. Each time you reach the top, you’re tired but thrilled by the view. Each time you get that knot in your stomach as you look to the water and you decide if you’re going to jump or not. The closer you get to the edge the more you feel your heart beating inside your throat.
You do it all over again.