Jump in the Waterfall

Remember Y2K? We thought the world would end – or, at the very least, we were going to lose all data and set ourselves back to 1900?

Well, I missed the whole damn thing because I was in the Costa Rican jungle in December 1999.

On the cusp of 30, traveling with college friends, I was young, broke, happy, and excited about my future on this trip.

But fear always lurks, keeping us from truly being in the moment. And for me, I feared the many “out-of-my-comfort-zone” elements of this vacation:

  • The vegetarian-only food, which ran against my All-Pasta, No-Veggies policy.
  • The micro airplane we took to get to our part of the island.
  • The howler monkeys, who woke us up with their screams, then greeted us in person on the beach path.

But the fear that showed up in a hike almost became my biggest regret.

We were hiking through the jungle, with snakes & animals & jungle noises and…

The most stunning, surprising waterfall I’d even seen.

Everyone took off their clothes & jumped in to experience the sweet water flowing over their sweaty, tired bodies.

Except for me.

I stood there, petrified, debating what to do. An internal conversation ensued:

You’re too fat to take your clothes off.

 I bet the water’s really cold.

Doesn’t matter. You’re too fat to take your clothes off.

Man, that looks really amazing. And super fun.

Everyone is doing it!

What is wrong with you, Jen? Why can’t you just do this?

I mean – back and forth for an eternity in my mind.

And then, something grabbed hold, and I thought, “In 20 years, no one will care. But you will kick yourself for not doing this.”

So, I did it. I took off my top, left on my shorts, and jumped in.

The cool water rushed around me, and I forgot that I was fat. And that I was in my sport bra. And that I had done a hard thing.

Because the experience was as amazing as I thought it would be.

I could go on about the crazy, fun, new, exciting, terrifying, weird things we did on that trip.

Looking back, I see that it was an adventure. Nothing to be terrified of. But there was so much I didn’t know at the time

What if I’d never done it? Would my life be so different now, almost-20-years-later?

Well. No. But – Yes.

Because when we do one hard thing…

When we are scared, and we do the thing anyway…

It allows us to do the next hard thing.

That’s how we build up confidence.

If I’d never left my spot on the jungle path to get into the waterfall….

maybe I’d never have done the very hard thing 10 years later of leaving teaching high school for teaching college part-time.

And if I’d never done the very hard thing of leaving teaching, I’d never have started my first business with my two partners!

And if I’d never done the very hard thing of leaving my first business, I’d certainly NEVER have the accountability coaching business I have now!

People think I’m confident & that’s why I can do all these things.

Nope. It doesn’t work that way.

My friends, I lacked confidence for years. I earned it by choosing to do the hard thing.

We don’t get confidence because someone else tells us we’re awesome.

The ONLY way we get confidence is to do the hard thing.

Even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if it sucks.

Even if you “fail.” You must do the hard thing.

Looking for help doing the hard thing? Reach out – I have one private coaching spot open for June and two for July.

No more excuses.

Go ahead. Jump into the waterfall.


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