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Another secret to grow in confidence and avoid regrets

In My 5 Tips for being BRAVE in 2018 I shared some of our adventures in New Zealand and insights around being brave. On reflection there is something else I learned.


It was something the attendant at the Canyon Swing said, as I was preparing for my jump. If you didn’t read the last article, the Canyon Swing is like bungee jumping except you swing 200m across a canyon after free falling for 60m.

There are many ways to do the Canyon Swing. The easiest is for the attendants to let you go, another easier option is to be pushed off a slide. I had never done it before so I thought I might go for the slide. When I said that the attendant, he said “Go for the jump. You’ll feel so much better for jumping off yourself without our help.”


Canyon swing


So I did. I jumped off myself with their cheering and count down. And I have to agree, it felt fantastic, a real adrenalin and dopamine rush. And I remember saying to myself, “I could do this again.”


Do you still get a buzz from having a go and achieving something challenging due to your own efforts? Or do you take the easy path or give up before you start, saying “it’s too hard”, “too scary” or “I don’t want to stuff it up”?

I have certainly had moments where I have given up before even trying or not fully committing to what I set out to do. The Canyon Swing experience reminded me of the power of committing and having a go at something challenging.


Watching the Winter Olympics, you can see this commitment and drive for achievement over and over. Whether it’s Lydia Lassila, 37 year old Australian aerial skier with 2 kids and 2 past Olympic medals, Yuzuru Hanyu, Japanese figure skating gold medallist who had injured his ankle 4 months ago, Pita Taufatofua, Tongan cross country skier who completed the 15km race after 12 weeks of training and so many more – they all worked hard and faced up to the challenge. Regardless of results, I imagine they would have a sense of achievement for getting to where they got to and/or a drive to get even better.


We see this achievement drive in most children. They love having a go at new things, they make mistakes, they can’t do it for a while, then suddenly something clicks! The look on their faces when they achieve something is wonderful. The sense of achievement, the buzz, the “I can do it” confidence that comes from it is priceless. A lifetime asset.


There is huge value in just having a go for the sake of it – whatever the outcome or result. It’s the sense of achievement and confidence that comes from having a go with full force.


Unfortunately, some of us start losing that achievement drive, in favour of safety and comfort. This is when we stop going outside our comfort zones. And we stop learning and growing. It may be due to our conditioning, where our parents, teachers, friends, siblings or others told us that we “shouldn’t” go for it as it’s too risky. Or being protected so much that we didn’t get to experience the difficulties and sense of achievement that comes from doing something challenging ourselves. Or you had a go and ‘failed’ such that you have decided not to try again.


“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Mark Twain

So… what’s something challenging you will have a go at this year? Be brave, as the reward is not the result, it’s the intrinsic sense of achievement and confidence for having a go. You won’t regret it.


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