The scariest moment in my skydiving career was not jump number 64 (when my parachute didn’t open properly and I had to decide VERY quickly whether or not I should open my reserve parachute before I splatted on the ground at a holy-shit-this-is-really-fast speed). It was my decision to quit skydiving that was the scariest.
After I decided to quit, it took me 2 years to actually do it. I thought my hesitancy was because I loved it so much and I couldn’t stand the thought of not doing it anymore. But that was only part of the reason. I eventually realized I was still skydiving because I liked how it made me look to other people. I pride myself on living life to the utmost, challenging myself, and being unique. I was scared that if I quit skydiving, my friends would think I was “settling down”, losing my edge… maybe little Billy wasn’t so unique anymore.
In other words, I was trying to influence others’ opinion of me. It’s the number one fear that keeps us from getting the life we want: the fear of what other people will think of us. I feel a bit naked even explaining it to you right now! Vulnerability is a bitch.
How often do you do things because you want to be perceived a certain way? What would you change if you only worried about what YOU want?
PS: for more on vulnerability, the best video ever is this one.