We’re supposed to be the Golden Generation, unafraid of anything, any failure, any unknown factor. And yet, according to a recent study commissioned by the American Psychological Association, we’re one of the most anxious generations and I’m starting to understand why. Though we’ve been told to shoot for the stars, land among the stars, gold star and blue No. 1 ribbon for everything we’ve ever done, when you’re confronted with the first true possibility of failure, you become the deer in the headlights. It’s an unfamiliar beast, coming up on you fast, lights blinding, engine roaring. So will you turn tail and pray you can outrun it or will you adapt and face it head on? That is the test of true faith.
I’m looking over the the lip of the diving board, looking down and seeing my personal cheer squad. They are all saying the things one needs to hear when on the ledge. “You Can Do It!” “Believe in Yourself!” And I think to myself that it’s easier said than done when you’re in the pool and I’m out in the wind, shivering to myself and wondering why the hell I climbed up on the high end again. Then I remember, the alternative is to be at the edge of the pool, tipping from foot to foot, thinking and rethinking if I want to dive in and swim or stay in the shallow end and doggy paddle. I’m starting to think that I’d rather do the duck paddle – cool on the surface and peddling furiously underneath – than the doggy paddle – splashing and making a show of myself and getting nowhere fast.
So what’s the best way to take two steps, bend my knees and make the diving board feel my weight and then head to the next level?