Six years old, wearing my Little Mermaid bathing suit, I stood on the edge of the diving board in the high school pool. The Little Mermaid notwithstanding, I wasn’t a big fan of this whole swimming lessons ordeal.
Left foot forward, right foot back. Right foot forward, left foot back. Every movement I made shook that diving board. All I wanted was to back up. I craved solid ground.
Beneath me, treading water in the pool, was my swimming teacher. Waiting to catch me.
Sarah! Jump! she shouted.
I looked around. Other kids had lined up behind me, waiting for their turn to jump. Meanwhile, I wiggled back and forth. My baby toe over the edge of the board, then back. Big toe to the left, then back.
Moving, sure. But I was going nowhere.
I felt petrified. I waited for the perfect time.
Every second was frightening. Eventually, I jumped. Eventually.
Just like I did on that diving board 20 years ago, we spend so much time searching for an elusive intersection. To pursue a dream, we’re searching for that magic place where both the timing is right and we’re unafraid.
And so we wiggle. We walk back and forth on the diving board and the board wobbles and we fret.
Upon moving to Kansas City this past fall, I took my fledgling communications business full-time. It was an obvious step, a natural progression for what had been first a weekends-and-evenings business, then a part-time one.
Since that transition, I’ve been scared. It’s like that Little Mermaid bathing suit moment all over again . . . teetering and tottering on the diving board, scared.
Plus that intangible “perfect timing.” Haven’t quite identified that.
Two things were stopping me from chiming in: Fear and the quest for the perfect moment.
But here’s the thing about making dreams come true: It’s never going to be the perfect time. And it’s always going to be scary. So we have to do it anyway.
In spite of fear, in spite of bad timing . . . what matters is moving forward.
Now may not be the perfect time, but it’s the right time – with grace. Now may not feel fearless, but it’s okay to be nervous – with grace.
As Holley puts it in The Do What You Can Plan, “Life is never normal. Timing is never perfect. Conditions are never really right. If you know this is something God wants you to do, move forward anyway.”
Back to my God-sized dream. 2013 is the year that Inspiration-Driven Communication becomes the little business that could. (I think I can, I think I can.)
The dream: to take this writing business from fledgling to thriving. In doing so, I want Inspiration-Driven Communication to be a vehicle for love and a vehicle for impact.
The timing isn’t perfect and I’m scared as can be, but I’m doing it anyway. Dreams matter and so forward we go.
Splash. Off the diving board and into the pool.
Join me? The water’s great.
PS – Holley Gerth’s e-book, The Do What You Can Plan, offers both encouragement and a kick in the caboose. Whether you’re on the edge of your own diving board, or have yet to don your bathing suit, I recommend it.