Take the Plunge

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This post is inspired by a little story that happened to me years ago.

I was about 15 years old, still sweet and innocent. *wink* I lived in a smallish university town called Stellenbosch , and in the summer regularly went to the university swimming pool with my friends, just to hang out, swim, spend the day there and have fun.

The pool was olympic-sized, and had three different level diving-boards. 1M, 3M and the highest being 5M.I must say, it’s incredibly fun jumping off those boards, and while you may think 5 metres doesn’t sound high, wait until you get up there and stand on the edge and look down. It may make your stomach do a little turn.

For a couple years I never had the courage to do a dive off the 5M board, the 3M dive was a little scary but very do-able, and I always watched in awe and envy as other people did somersaults, backflips and dives off the 5M board. It seemed so effortless and looked like so much fun and I really wanted to do it but was simply too scared.

I kept on wondering “WHAT IF”.
What if I landed flat on my back or stomach?
What if I broke my neck?
What if I got a concussion from hitting the water head first?

While it was still great fun just jumping off the top board, and only diving off the two lower ones, it never quite felt like I was completely satisfied with what I had achieved, and I knew that I could do more.

One day, a beautiful sunny summer’s day in South Africa, which is often far over 30 degrees C, I was at the pool again with my friend and we were having loads of fun. I was feeling really brave and just decided that I was going to do it, I was going to dive off the top board. I was going to conquer my fear.

As I made my way to the top board, I was feeling half confident and half doubting. Was I crazy to be doing this? What if something happens? There we go again, the what if’s started creeping in. My courage level started to drop, and I made my way over to the edge of the diving board and looked down. The water seemed very far down, insanely far down. After about a minute of contemplating how far below the water seemed to be, I decided not to do it. In fact, the board all of a sudden seemed so high that I was afraid to even jump off it, and I made my way back down via the stairs.

For the next hour, I was actually angry at myself for chickening out.I wasn’t impressed at all, I really wanted to go home having done this, whatever happens. So after a while, I actually got really angry with myself and decided to do this, right now. I climbed up to the top board, didn’t walk to the edge to look down. I just took a deep breath, ran from as far back as I could and leaped off the board head first towards the water, hands stretched out in front of me to break the water.

Surprisingly…it went perfect. Straight into the water, prefect angle, no stinging from hitting the water, no headache, no nothing. Just an amazing feeling of having conquered this obstacle, this massive limit that I had created for myself. It felt really really good.

Now that the fear was removed, I had increased my boundaries, and I felt that I can go another couple steps forward. I find that this principle relates to ANYTHING you want to do but are scared to do. We stand on the edge of the diving board, looking down at all the potential problems, coming up with all sorts of excuses and fears, to put us off from taking the plunge.

If there is anything you have been wanting to do for a long time, but have been standing on the edge of that diving board, and each time you get up and come up with enough courage to make the decision, but the chicken out right before you jump, maybe it’s time for once and for all to decide to do it. Before you take the plunge, make a list of worst case scenarios, and make a list of solutions what you can do if those worst case scenarios present themselves.
(I wrote about it in a post The timing is never right). Only this time, don’t look down, just take a run-up and dive head-first into the water. Don’t think about the potential problems and what can go wrong. Deal with those things one at a time,you have an arsenal of counter measures.

You will find more often than not you are capable of conquering your fear, and the feeling of achievement and freedom from your limitations is truly amazing. Once you overcome that mental obstacle and self-limiting belief, you will find a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities open up to you.

Have an amazing weekend!

Have a Rockin’ day

  • http://www.addvalue.com.au/ executive gifts

    Was debating a very difficult decision earlier today. It seemed quite important and required a response very quickly. There were so many angles to look at and the stakes were high. Pressure like this: Not fun.

    So there I was, stuck between a rock and a hard place… At which point I just ran, and jumped into the swimming pool!!

    The water cooled my overheated brain, set at ease my thoughts, and relaxed my body. It was a sense of freedom and control. Nobody was in charge except me.

    You Can’t KNOW Until You Actually DO, now jump in the pool!

  • Dave Witwicki

    Great story Diggy! Brought back memories of my childhood where I faced the same dilemna. I don’t think I ever worked up the courage to dive off the 5m board. Jumping was enough. Almost makes me want to go do it now, just because…
    .-= Dave Witwicki´s last blog ..Take a Timeout and Reset your Growth =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Heya Dave :)
      Yeah it was scary! If you do it, get someone to film it though, I wanna see! hehe

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://twitter.com/ironchefbalara zandie

    I’ve had this in high school, but mine involved a 30ft high platform, I’ve always wondered what it would feel like jumping off that ledge but was too big of a sissy to actually try. I only mustered enough courage during my senior year, but as soon as I reached the top, fear came creeping in, but fate or circumstance it turned out, didn’t want me to chicken out, I slipped soon after I turned my back from the edge and fell. It was one of my more embarrassing moments, it also earned me the nickname “wiener splash”. Though that dive caused immediate(physical & emotional) pain, it saved me from that prolonged “what if?” agony.

    Glad I dropped by your site again, it was a really nice & sorta nostalgic read for me.;)
    .-= zandie´s last blog ..ironchefbalara: RT @WWF_Climate: Do you want leaders to take action on #climate? then #voteearth Show your Vote for Earth http://www.earthhour.org =-.

  • http://www.reachourdreams.com Jen

    This is really cool Diggy! I have a funny thing about heights so I nearly felt like I was with you on the board and all the associated feelings before you jumped, you described it so well! :-)Great message, and you’re so right. It’s often I look back and think, what was I scared of?
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..The ebb and flow of life =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Heya Jen :)

      Glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks so much for stopping by and always being positive!

      Have an awesome weekend!

  • http://relativestrengthadvantage.com/ Yavor

    Awesome story Diggy!

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Yavor :)

      Thanks for stopping by bro! When are you making some new posts on your blog? :)

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  • http://www.healthmoneysuccess.com Vincent

    Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” fits perfectly here. Sometime we have too much thoughts about what we are going to do and that can cause us to have analysis paralysis. Sometimes it does help to just take the plunge. Thanks for sharing your story :).

    .-= Vincent´s last blog ..Download Your Free Copy Of Unleash Your Maximum Potential Now =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Heya Vincent!

      So true, just do it! Take the plunge and deal with whatever comes your way :)

      Thanks for stopping by buddy!

  • Kristin

    Congrats, Diggy! Diving off the high dive is huge and learning how to move forward despite your fears is even bigger!

    Next challenge: Jumping off 5M high rocks into a deep river – there is nothing like that thrill! (Do check the bottom first though…)
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..this post is a cop out =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Hey Kristin!
      Haha, I’ve done that, it’s moer fun actually, did it off high cliffs in the coast of France. The sea was deep and really clear so you could see all the way to the bottom, massive rush :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://valeriemondesir.com Valerie M

    Great post, Diggy.

    I have a similar story like that except I was about five years old and I was obsessed with wanting to climb to the top of a monkey bar and hang upside down, like a monkey. (I think in my past life I was a monkey :-P) I was too scared, but eventually I did it.

    Overthinking used to be a huge problem for me and now I just make it my policy to not think about it at all (or give myself 5 minutes to make a decision) and just do it. I’ve found I am a lot more impulsive these days, but I can’t say it’s a bad thing. ;)

    .-= Valerie M´s last blog ..Why you don’t have ADHD. The real ADHD, anyway. =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Hey Valerie :)

      Haha, that sounds funny too! I always loved those monkey bars when I was little. Impulsive is good, sometimes it does get you into trouble a bit :)

      Thanks for stopping by miss!

  • http://thelifedesignproject.com Robert

    Good story Diggy. I really like writing out a list of worst case scenarios, as in actually sitting down and writing what is the worst that could happen if I do X…I’ve found that it’s a really good motivator if you get stuck or somehow trick yourself into losing interest on a goal you have. It’s often a great motivator because you realize how easy it is to recover from the risks your contemplating, the key is thinking about it seriously. Great stuff.
    .-= Robert´s last blog ..Source Control: The Invigorating Outsourcing Guide =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Hey Rob :)

      That’s exactly it, somehow we always exaggerate in our minds. It’s good to take time and think of as many outcomes as possible and prepare yourself for them, and then to get on and do the thing you wanna do!

      Thanks for stopping by :)

  • http://www.pluginid.com Glen Allsopp

    I once jumped about 60 metres and lived. I had a rope around my ankles, but it still happened ;)

    Cool story man and with a great message!
    .-= Glen Allsopp´s last blog ..Deciding What To Do With Your Life (Without Actually Deciding) =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Hey Glen!

      The infamous Bloukrans bungee! I’ve never done it to be honest, I really wanna! And get it on film :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.thewaythatyouwander.com Nate

    This reminds me of how much I don’t like water. I always go out on the boat with my girlfriend and her family and just sit there. I feel like a bum. The first day of next summer I’m going in though, and I’m getting on that innertube, and doing the tubing thing. Thanks for the inspiration my friend.
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..Mark Twain and lifestyle design =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Heya Nate!

      Wow, that sounds like a cool yearly trip. Yeah definitely get on that tube, it’s really cool, you’ll love it!

  • Oscar – freestyle mind

    Hey Diggy, awesome story. I’ve never jumped from 5 meters, the pool in my city doesn’t have it but I admit it would be scary for me the first time. Thanks for the great article!
    .-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..I’m Joining the Power of Less =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Hey Oscar!

      Haha, yeah 5meters doesn’t sound very high, but when you’re up there it’s a different story.

      Imagine those guys doing dives from 30 meters! That’s just insane :)

      Thanks for stopping by!


    Good on ya Diggs.

    I believe you definitely have to start small and work up. I have been taking risks all my life so the big ones I take now, like quitting a high paying job and moving abroad, don’t seem that big to me. Just a calculated one and I don’t regret anything.

    I then look at others and think, “Now there is a risk taker, how can I increase my calculated risk taking to thier level and experience even more of life.

    Great post Diggy

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Heya Jonny!

      Really admire you for quitting a job and taking the plunge to do your own thing. I think it is the most satisfying thing you can do with your life :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jonas

    Awesome man.
    I’m constantly trying to push my comfort zone as far as possible. I often hesitate and that’s where you have to be really determined to “just do it”.

    I realized that it’s always about me worrying about making something I have become worse. It could be anything, for example the fear of being hurt, making a jackass out of yourself, screwing an opportunity.

    I try to view so that there is no failure, therefore making ‘fear of failure’ is impossible.

    “Success comes from good judgment. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.”

    I say let’s start making some bad judgments ;)

    Keep well!

    PS. I’m launching a blog too soon. Personal development, Health and exercise, game/identity and much more. Stay tuned :)

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Hey Jonas!
      Awesome that you’re starting a blog too!Looking forward to it. :)

      Yep, totally true, it takes much experience to get good, and that means a lot of mistakes and failed attempts. Keep at it :)

  • Gordie Rogers

    Cool story Diggy. It kept me until the end. You wrote it very well. And it also had a cool applicable message. Well done!
    .-= Gordie Rogers´s last blog ..Lifestyle Designers Should Set Financial Goals. =-.

    • Diggy – UpgradeReality.com

      Heya Gordie :)
      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate the support!

      Have a crazy cool weekend!