Over hot chocolate last week, my best friend announced the news that she had decided to surprise her boyfriend with a couple’s sky diving experience for his birthday. In complete honesty, my initial thoughts were ‘she’s crazy’, ‘never in a million years would I do that’ and admittedly, being the tad bit of a drama Queen which I am known to be, ‘I hope to see her again’ was probably a thought which resounded in my head quite a few times.
Liezel is one of the few people who has the ability to read me incredibly well and it was no surprise that she could sense my apprehension. The very next day, she proceeded to send me a 6-minute YouTube video of Will Smith explaining his skydiving adventure and how it directly correlates to fear and life.
His video made me think of one of my favourite words in the dictionary; Paradox. Since childhood, I have always had a deep love and appreciation for the English language. The complexity, yet simplicity, of the word Paradox in particular, has always intrigued me. Paradox; ‘a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality, expresses a possible truth.’ A classic example? The ‘catch 22’- having a degree but being turned down for a job for not having experience or in Liezel’s case, the overpowering feeling of being free and constraint in fear at the same time.
Life itself is one massive paradoxical affair. The more we succeed at work, the more it seems our personal lives seem to take a strain. The more connected we are through devices, the more disconnected and isolated we feel as human beings.
How, do we then, manage the paradoxical nature of life, whilst trying to remain positive in our journey as we grow and evolve?
“The only certainty is uncertainty”
Nobody can tell what the future holds and truthfully, where would the fun be in knowing how it all pans out, anyway? The only surety we really do possess is the manner in which we choose to shape our future by our daily choices and consistency thereof. Frustratingly, even then, we cannot guarantee the outcome. However, there is a rewarding feeling that stems from knowing that you have done your very best, no matter how things turn out. Therefore, perhaps applying yourself to everything to the best of your ability, is all the assurance you need.
“Become comfortable with the uncomfortable”
Working for a start-up means that I am very familiar with this notion. The unpredictability can, at times, be incredibly overwhelming and scary. With that being said, the personal and professional progression and growth is undeniable. Over time, you’ll begin to appreciate the chaos in it all and inherently begin to recognise that discomfort brings the greatest means of thriving with the resources and opportunities available to you.
“Stop fearing ‘fear’ itself”
We’ve all heard that infamous line from Susan Jeffer’s book- ‘Feel the fear and Do It Anyway’. Whilst Liezel physically jumped out of an airplane in order to soar above her fear, perhaps you need to begin to unpack and re-train your mind-set so that you too can rise above what is ultimately holding you back. Here’s the paradox- some fear is healthy in order to motivate, stimulate and encourage us, it is therefore up to us to find the healthy equilibrium between the two....