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Taking the Plunge by Jill

It was time for my deep water swimming test. It was the start of my 7th summer at sleepaway camp in Maine. As I stared anxiously into the deep dark water below the diving board, my body was buzzing with fear and adrenaline. I always dreaded touching the icy early-summer Maine lake for the first time. I watched all the other girls’ methods for getting in the water: some stood by the shoreline, dipping their toes in first, then their ankles, then up to their knees, slowly gaining the courage to fully submerge. A few sat on the side, plunking their legs in and out to gradually numb themselves to the temperature. The boldest girls leapt right in, gasping from the shock of the cold as they reemerged.

I ached to join them, but my paralyzing fear held me back. Could I really do this? What if I froze in the water? What if I couldn’t breathe? If I didn’t pass my test, I knew I wouldn’t be able to join in waterskiing, sailing, and sliding for the rest of the summer. I even tried to convince myself that it would be okay if I didn’t pass the test and that there were tons of other fun activities to do.

But this year, another set of questions tugged at me: What if I didn’t do this? What if I missed out on all the possibilities that passing my test would give me? I took a deep breath, ran the five steps to the end of the diving board, and took the plunge. When I resurfaced, my gasp wasn’t in response to the coldness of the water — it came from the thrill of what I had just done. I had found the courage to overcome one of my biggest fears, and I was exhilarated. By the time I came out of the water at the end of my test, I had completely forgotten about the temperature.

Those old familiar feelings of trepidation and uncertainty continue to creep in whenever I make a change in my life. When I decided to begin my next chapter and leave behind my career as a stay-at-home mother and volunteer extraordinaire, those feelings came rushing back. I wasn’t sure what my path would be and it turned out not to be as clear and linear as I had hoped. Rather it was filled with many twists and turns until I found my true calling as a Coach.

Transition is difficult — we must face the possibility of failing that comes along with the potential for opportunity and success. There are many different strategies for coping with change and transition. Some progress like the girls at summer camp, moving into the future with a careful and calculated plan, inching towards the future but keeping one toe in the past. Others just jump right in, feeling the fear but doing it anyway.

As a Transition and Leadership Coach, I can help you find your path. Are you in the Fear Zone, where you are paralyed with inaction and afraid to take the first step? I will help you to identify what is holding you back so you can move into the Learning Zone and Growth Zone; where you evaluate and learn about yourself. I will support you as learnings occur and get you to the last stop - The Action Zone, where you are ready to launch. I will be your thought partner and support you through your desired change.

When we live in the present and take the plunge, the results are overwhelmingly rewarding and fulfilling — even when we trip, it gives us the opportunity to learn, rethink, and grow. In order to begin our journeys of transformation, we must take a bold and wholehearted leap of faith into that deep blue water. And I will be with you every step of the way.

...The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

-Teddy Roosevelt

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