Taking the Leap of Your Life

June 21, 2019 Tommy Baker

What are you waiting for?

There’s a leap in your life you’ve been putting off, and it’s killing you. Maybe not literally, but it’s killing your spirit. It’s killing your belief, your enthusiasm, and the thrill of this one experience we call life. It’s killing your energy, vitality, and hope for the future. When those are gone, you might as well be the walking dead. It’s draining your life force, and every day you put it off, you’re reminded of how it hasn’t happened for you yet. And now you’re questioning if it ever will.

The consequences of not taking your leap are real, and they stare back at you every morning in the mirror. They’re reflected in bank statements. They’re felt in your body language during time with the people you love. They’re wrapped in long exhales as you aim to keep it all together. But worst of all, they’re reflected in this tireless voice in the back of your head that won’t shut up, asking: “Is this it? Is this all that’s meant for me?”

The Ingredients of the Leap

You may be wondering: What exactly constitutes a leap? You may be thinking it’s abandoning Western life and moving to an ashram in the Himalayas, quitting your accounting gig, launching the new app or parachuting out of a perfectly good airplane at 15,000 feet.

Although all of those sound like fun to me and could be leaps, they don’t have to be yours. Sometimes, the leap we have to take seems inconsequential to others and yet leads to a bold moment of no return: reaching out to a recruiter with the hopes of transitioning out of our job, having the tough conversation with our partner, launching the side hustle or finally clicking record and spreading a message with the world.

What matters, then is not necessarily the magnitude of the leap. It’s simply that it matters to you, and includes the following:

  1. You feel a pull. You can’t explain it, but you feel pulled toward your leap. Much like a magnetic charge, you can try to avoid it, but it comes back stronger than ever.
  2. There’s a decision. Your leap involves a decision you’ve been putting off and will require you to make a bold choice.
  3. The stakes are high. Your leap matters. There are real consequences for not making it. There are also endless possibilities by stepping into it.
  4. There’s an element of risk. Your leap has a degree of risk, and for now, you’ve chosen to play it “safe” at the expense of your own fulfillment.
  5. Not doing it will hurt more than doing it. Lastly, even though you haven’t taken your leap yet, not doing so hurts more than any consequence or perceived failure of taking it.

So, what are you waiting for?

Excerpted and adapted from The Leap of Your Life: How to Redefine Risk, Quit Waiting For 'Someday,' and Live Boldly by Tommy Baker. Copyright © 2019, Wiley. All rights reserved.

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