By Karen D. Swim
I was not much of a daredevil as a kid but I loved to swing. I would place my hands at just the right height and slowly move backwards as I prepared to take flight. I can remember the effort and determination it took to propel myself higher. Once you had momentum, the effort was not as hard. To remain high you simply had to keep moving at the right rhythm and force.
As I soared higher, my belly would clinch in fear but the joy of soaring through the air was too good to pass up even if I was scared of falling. I felt the most comfortable when I swung back and forth in a straight line. If the swing began to swerve a little to one side, it made me nervous and I would slow down to align myself.
Business has many parallels to swinging. When you first begin, you have to push a little harder to get to your desired altitude. When you've reached a goal (and there will be many) you may need to slow down a bit and check your alignment. Have you gone off course? Are you swinging to the left or right? Are you in danger of falling?
The higher you go the scarier it can be but you learn to push past the fear so that you can soar higher. And you can always go higher. Your height is as infinite as the sky and only limited by how much you can thrust forward. You control your motion.
You can also go higher, faster with a little help. As a child, my mom or an older cousin would push me until I soared higher than I would have dared alone. The initial result was thrilling but if they pushed too hard, I would be annoyed and make them stop. I would then quickly slow my speed until I was once again comfortable. However, I would inevitably climb higher on my own because their push had shown me I could reach that height.
You may find that you have become comfortable swinging at a certain height. You're coasting along enjoying the view, secure in your position. Alternatively, maybe you want to soar higher but you can't pump hard enough to get to the next level. You need a push. A push can come in the form of inspiration from someone we admire, or a word of encouragement from a coach or mentor. And yes, sometimes a push really is a hard push that jolts us from our comfortable height and forces us to find our balance while swinging.
I am at a time in my own life when I feel that nudge to go just a little higher. My belly clinches with a mixture of fear but excitement too wondering, "How high can I go?" I hope that you will stay with me as I propel myself backward, thrust my legs out and prepare to go just a little higher. How about you? Do you need a push or are you soaring at the right altitude?
Photo credit: Higher and Higher - mathteacher on Flickr
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
By Karen D. Swim