Take the Leap

By Carolyn Edlund

 

skydiving

 

On July fourth weekend of 2006, I struggled into a jumpsuit and strapped on a parachute. After climbing in with an instructor and a pilot and ascending high above southern Pennsylvania, I threw myself out of an airplane.

The thing about skydiving is that you can’t just do it halfway. You have to jump purposefully, spread eagle. And you have to arch your back, because you want to be falling with your face down, knowing where you are going. It keeps your center of gravity down and balanced in the air. If you start
tumbling and getting disoriented, you have a serious problem, which could get messy.

I didn’t go skydiving because I thought it would be fun. I did it because I knew it would be uncomfortable. And I also knew this: If  I can conquer skydiving, what it is that I cannot do?

Launching your art career can be an uncomfortable experience too. You have to be able to deliberately put yourself into situations that are difficult and scary and open to failure. It is through these experiences that you open your horizons and become more comfortable with putting yourself and your work out there. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable. Do it anyway. Then you will know there is nothing you cannot do.

Have you been turned down so much that you could wallpaper your bathroom with the rejection letters?  Use those failures as a learning experience. What do you need to learn or improve this year that will help you reach your goal? Embrace those difficulties and see the opportunities that they ultimately offer. Your only limits are those you place on yourself.

In the immortal words of FrankenfurterDon’t dream it, be it.” It’s 2010, a new year. Are you ready to launch yourself and take the leap?  Jump purposefully, spread eagle.  Arch your back.

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