Jumping Right In:
As this is my inaugural article on my blog, I really ran my brain through the wringer (technical term) on how I wanted to start. Did I want a typical introduction? What did I want to say? Should I tell them about my favorite or least favorite things? Where do I start?!?!?!
The more I thought about it the more I had writer’s block. I would start an introduction and then delete it by the time I was done. First impressions are important and I kept on writing what could be considered “dinner and a movie” on a first date- not a terrible idea, but it’s overdone and probably not the best way to get to know one another (aside from finding out if your date is a regular or buttered popcorn person- VERY important to find out by the way).
And then the LED light bulb went off in my head (trying to save electricity).
I just gotta jump right in.
Imagine this situation: It’s a hot summer day and you really want to go swimming. There is a pool/lake/ocean/pond/sprinkler that you are completely ready for. First, you have to test the water out. Starting with the pinky toe (big toe if you are feeling daring) as your thermometer, you discover that the water is actually pretty cold today. For the next 30 minutes, you decide to ever so slowly submerge your body into the water. By this time you have made it down to your waist. Now you delicately waltz around the water with your arms over your head and try to acclimate yourself. An evil human being enjoying the water accidentally gets some water on you that you were definitely not prepared for and you start yelling at them as if they just punched a kitten. Another 30 minutes has passed and you have somehow made it all the way down to your neck. Now the water feels great! Meanwhile your crazy friend/family member/dog runs out from a mystical portal and hurls their body into the water in a matter of seconds.
Does any of this sound familiar? Obviously some of this is exaggerated and for some perhaps not exaggerated enough.
Perhaps you are the jumper. Why not just get the agony over with. You know the water is going to be cold so why not get it over with right away? Just like ripping off a band-aid, right?
What’s the difference, anyway? Both people are getting into the water, so why make a big deal out of it?
Here’s why: MINDSET.
Let’s start with the slow gradual submerging approach. There is a reason someone chooses this option: the water is cold and they’re trying to get used to the water slowly. The thought of jumping in is just crazy. The mindset is: ‘There is NO way I am jumping! Only a crazy maniac would think of jumping in!’ A person can definitely achieve their goal of getting in the water, but it just takes some time and this person wants to do it their way.
The jumper on the other hand just wants to get in. Sometimes this person does not even test the water. What difference does it make since this person is getting in no matter what? This person’s mindset is all in on the idea of getting in. They usually know it may be painful, but why not get it over with and stop prolonging it?
More often than not many of us go through life as the slow submerger. We think about something. Then we think about it again. Then we think some more. Sometimes we’re weighing the positives and the negatives. What would happen if I did this? What would happen if I didn’t do this? What if I’m not ready? What if I haven’t done enough? What if I should have done it another way?
And on, and on….
As for the “jump in” mindset, the decision has been made and action has been taken. There is absolutely no time to talk yourself out of it as the gears of motion are already in play. Generally the focus is on the future implications of the decision and the actions taken to continue to move forward.
There are definitely times where jumping in is not the right decision. I’m sure you’ve seen a video of someone deciding to jump in a pool in the middle of winter. They leap through the air like a gazelle only to discover that they have just hurled their body onto a block of ice. Ouch! Jumping right in can be unpleasant, but jumping in without thinking can be incredibly painful!
It’s very possible to succeed with either mindset, but I think when we submerge ourselves into an idea, we can cause more harm than good. We can be our own worst enemy. We can keep ourselves away from discovering our true potential. Overthinking and overanalyzing can be detrimental to our development and our goals.
I am not saying analyzing is bad or that we should not do it. Jumping in does not mean that you are blind to the outcome. It is important to look at what you want and make sure that you are making the right decision. When you have decided that it is truly what you want to do and are not cannonballing into a pit of lava, then make sure you are not holding yourself back. If you are making excuses for why you shouldn’t do something or trying to look at it from every possible angle, you may have missed your opportunity.
We can never prepare ourselves for every bump in the road, nor should we have to. We are far more resilient and much stronger than we usually believe. It’s inevitable that problems will arise and the choice you have made will be tough. Many times we can work through things and learn from our mistakes. We do not always make the right decision, but sometimes we don’t know until we actually try. The important part is to make sure that decision will not hurt you or put you in a place where you cannot recover.
And so this brings us back to my career and this blog. I have certainly encountered some bumps along the way, but so far nothing I couldn’t recover from. In some ways, I probably needed to make some mistakes to learn and grow. If everything went flawlessly, I would have probably missed some important lessons along the way.
I have heard many in the voiceover industry call it a marathon race. In my next blog, that’s exactly what I’ll be talking about!
Until then, make that leap! Do not hold yourself back! You are a much stronger person than you believe you are. Just make sure that if you decide to make the leap, you make it a smart decision. Do not make a blind leap or one without thinking. Otherwise you’ll be like this guy:
Don’t be like that guy.