Many women don’t want to get back into the dating scene because they know it will require them to take some risks: being rejected, getting a broken heart, being hurt. But without risks in life, rewards are small. If you want to live completely within your comfort zone and not press your limits, you will stay where you are now. If you know you are happier coupled than alone, you may not ever find your special someone without taking some risks.
As long as you are clear on the risks, you can mitigate the chances of something adverse happening, or can minimize its affect on you if it does. When you take calculated risks — nothing stupid, but pressing your envelope of comfort, you will be amazed at how you grow.
I liken dating to some of the activities I experienced when I led private women’s leadership retreats at the world-famous spa/resort, Miraval, in Arizona. My ex had just left me a few months earlier, and I used this time to reflect and work on myself, as well as assist others.
One of the Miraval activities included in my curriculum was climbing a 25-foot pole, standing on top, then leaping off. I participated along with each of my group as we would climb the pole wearing a harness and belayed by a strong rope with a team of three holding tightly so there was no way you could fall.
Feeling worn out the day of this activity, I didn’t really feel like stretching my comfort limits. Stretching out on the massage table was more what I had in mind. The storm clouds were approaching, so I hoped that if I procrastinated long enough, the rains would come and I could bail out. When the leader, Kevin, asked for people to choose their climbing order, I took the last spot.
I watched the younger women scamper up the 25-foot telephone pole in seconds, seemingly leap on top and stand at attention. One woman was so confident, she did a one-legged yoga pose on the dinner-plate-sized disk on top.
Finally, it was my turn. Would I do it or pass? Kevin yelled my number. I paused while I made my decision. I thought, “Drat, I guess I have to participate with my group.”
I climbed the pole reasonably easily, considering my lack of energy. I guess adrenaline had kicked in. I was okay as long as I didn’t look down. Then, at the top, I ran out of rungs to hang onto. The only thing left was to hang onto the disk on the top, which, by the way, rotates!
I grabbed on, which meant I had to hang over the top so I could balance to get one foot on the disk. Looking straight down 25 feet was unnerving. But I placed one foot on the disk. Now, how to get the other one up? This was hard, as I had to shift my weight onto the top foot and balance while bringing the other foot up. Breathe, focus, OK, now! Did it!
I hung on, folded over with both hands hanging onto the disk and both feet on top of it. Now to stand up — with nothing to hang on to or with which to steady myself. Talk about faith!
I took a deep breath and asked myself, “What are you willing to take a stand for?” The answer came immediately: “My new life!” I stood up confidently. Yippee! I looked around the beautiful high desert, and enjoyed watching the storm clouds against the prominent peaks. Beautiful.
As I prepared to dismount, Kevin asked, “What are you leaping into?” I replied, “I’m leaping into my new life!” With that I turned on the disk — a 9.9-degree of difficulty — and leapt off the pole!
What did I learn?
- Isn’t so much of life just putting one foot in front of (or above) the other?
- When you’re clear on your goal, you trudge forward, even if you want to give up.
- Take your time if you are scared. Remind yourself of what you need. Breathe, focus.
- When faced with a very difficult task, remind yourself of something that inspires you. It will give you the energy and focus to take a stand.
- You can accomplish amazing things when you are balanced, clear on what you want, focused and grounded.
- With every action, be clear in what you want. I was clear I wanted to leap into my new life with energy, courage, passion and clarity.
I apply these lessons to dating. Yes, it is a risk. But if I want to be coupled again, as I very much do, I have to face my fears and take risks. Are you willing to take a stand for finding your love match?