Recently I have been on holiday with the family.
We went to a holiday camp in Somerset near the beach, with plenty of activities for the kids. One of the activities we signed the boys up for was the “Leap of Faith”. They had to climb up a pole, pull themselves onto a platform, jump off and hit a ball as they jumped.
I hasten to add that they were harnessed and perfectly safe.
Kieran is 11 years old and on the ASD spectrum as well as having ADHD and co-ordination issues but he wanted to do what his older brother was doing. He had fears, confidence and trust issues and things can be hard for him – but he wanted to try and we were not going to stop him. (Kieran’s Mum has given me permission to write about him).
They would have 3 goes and at his first attempt he didn’t make it to the top of the pole. We didn’t discourage him but told him he would make it on his next try.
On his second attempt he got to the top of the pole and on the platform and then he froze. He was so high and he was worried that the platform would not support him. But he only had one way down and that was to take the “leap of faith”. You could actually see him trembling at the top.
What was so amazing was that all of a sudden, everyone started to encourage him. The other children waiting their turn – starting a chant of Kieran Kieran Keiran yes you can do it. The other parents were cheering him on and even the parents and little ones in the sand pit joined in. It was as if everyone was willing him to succeed and take the one step he needed to.
There was no impatience from the other kids because he was delaying their ‘turn’ just total support. Holding the space for him, encouraging him to take the step he needed.
They counted him down and gradually he edged forward and ‘he did it’ he took the step. Okay he didn’t hit the ball but he stepped off and the cheer that went up must have been heard for miles around.
He wanted to take his third go and I admit my heart was in my mouth as I watched him climb the pole. Because he now knew he couldn’t fall this was easier for him. There was a little wobble at the top. He took some breaths and jumped off. Yes he jumped !!!! He didn’t hit the ball but he jumped and the joy on his face as they lowered him down said all that was needed. He now has one very proud Nan.
Why do I tell you this story
Well Kieran has already had a lot to overcome in his life – he isn’t the same as his brother or his cousin or even some of his peers at school, he is different and finds it hard to fit in. He can have some challenging behaviours, but he is a kind boy and tries his best and I know with love, encouragement and the right support he will flourish.
Taking the Leap of Faith to Start your own Business
I believe it is the same for us when we take the ‘leap of faith’ in starting our own business. Taking those first steps needs courage and determination and facing our fears as Kieran did in taking his leap.
The first steps of deciding what your business is going to be and what services/products/offers you want to give. How do you get these out there? Where do you find your ideal soul client? Will the business be able to sustain you? All questions that went through my head as I began this journey. Even finding the right name can be a challenge.
Then you have the well minded friends and family who tell you ‘it will never work’ or ‘why are you doing this when you have a perfectly good job’. ‘Why do you want to rock the status quo’ I have even had ‘go and get a proper job’ and in particular ‘this whoo whoo stuff is just nonsense’.
I equate this to Kieran climbing the pole – the preparation, the uncertainty, some excitement and of course the fear of stepping into the unknown, as well as the doubts that others have tried to plant.
Standing on the platform
You are ready, you are sure you are ready, ready to take the biggest ‘leap’ of your life. But wait a minute you may be saying where is my safety net if I jump and you edge back a little. You may not have a safety net but what you do have is your tribe. Other entrepreneurs and like minded people who are ready to help, to encourage and to hold the space for you. Sharing tips and knowledge, supporting and encouraging you on. For they have been there too climbing the pole and standing on the platform wondering whether to jump or not.
Go find your tribe, surround yourself with them – they will challenge, inspire and support you. Spend time with them and allow them to help you run forward and jump off.
Follow your dream and never stop dreaming, know that you don’t have to do it all yourself – something it took me a while to realise.
Kieran had the support of everyone around him that day, they were all with him They were his tribe encouraging and supporting him when he got to the the bottom there were high fives all round and beaming smiles.
Taking your ‘Leap of Faith’
No one can tell you that it will be plain sailing, but life isn’t anyway we all have turbulent waters to navigate whether we stay where we are or move forward. Know that it is okay to fall down and to use this as experience and learn from it. What isn’t okay it to fall down and stay down. So take your ‘leap of faith’ into the new life you want to create. Start your journey with one giant leap smiling all the way.
Like Kieran with the right support, love and encouragement we will flourish as entrepreneurs and and of course some hard work, commitment and consistency added in.
Everyday take another step on your journey even a small step (the one it took to step off the edge) in the right direction can be a turning point for you. I know that Kieran’s small step for him has been a big turning point in his confidence.
Marion ( and Kieran)