Go Ahead and Jump!

Back in February 2014, I wrote a post titled “I Know You’re Scared. Do it Scared! I Know You’re Unsure, Do it Unsure!” Little did I know that, in just two weeks after writing those words, I would face the biggest period of fear and uncertainty in my life. The phone rang and my doctor told me I had cancer.

Go ahead and jump!The next few months of my life are still a blur to me, as so many things happened so quickly. I was scared and uncertain about nearly every aspect of my life.

Nevertheless, I remembered writing those words and kept saying them over and over to myself as I lived one day, one step at a time. “I know you’re scared. Do it scared!” became my mantra. I am so glad that I took my own advice because my life is completely different and I have accomplished things in the last year that I did not think were possible.

I often talk about this on my “Life is a Marathon” podcast–which I started while being very scared–and many people write to thank me for encouraging them to do the same. I want to share one of these stories with you. This email came from Mindy, and she has given me permission to share it with you:

Bruce, you amazing guy you! I must share with you how you helped me!  I recently listened to your podcasts titled “On the other side of fear is freedom!” And guess what?…..I took your advice and I “did it scared!” Near my house there is a totally sweet spot called “The Cove.” It’s located back in the woods underneath an abandoned railroad. It’s a swimming hole. I took my 7 year old son here about a month ago, and we did get into the water, but I avoided the most fun part of this spot because I was terrified. This swimming hole sits at the bottom of a giant tunnel which is about 20 ft drop from the top of the tunnel to the water. Kids come here daily to jump from the tunnel into the hole, and I don’t need to tell you that its pretty terrifying when your looking down from above. Well, my son was bummed that I was so squirmy about this place. He complained that he wished I had swam more. I was just so freaking scared. Even when we left, my heart was sad that I didn’t do what I wanted to do and jump!! So, after I heard your podcast, I said to myself “We’re gonna do this scared! Hell ya!!” I didn’t even finish it to the end. I paused it, then I made arrangements to have my baby watched. I and waited for Saturday when we would be going. Oh my gosh, Bruce, I was nervous for 48 hours! But no backing out now! I was gonna have some fun and get me some freedom, dammit!! Saturday came, we dropped the baby off, and headed out to this super sweet spot, both of us shaking in our flipflops. I told my boy, I’m really scared buddy, but I’m doing this! And then he started to say, he was scared too, but I reassured him that he didn’t have to do ANYTHING he didn’t want to. We got there, there were 15 or so people hanging out, having fun, swimming, and I was just getting so freaking nervous and I KNEW if I thought about, then I would talk myself out of it!! (just like the first time) So I walked up to the drop, threw my backpack and flipflops off as quick as possible, looked to left to ask a random guy “am I going to hit a rock?” He said no, and Mindy jumped!!!! It was EXACTLY as scary as I thought it would be but OMG, WHAT A RUSH!!! The people watching were a bit stunned and even yelled down at me, “Wow, there was no hesitation there!” My son came alive a little bit that moment. LOL. Bruce, you were right. I walked through fear and picked me up some freedom (yeah baby!!!) Thank you so much for sharing God’s message on these podcasts! I jumped several times that day, each time was really scary because it’s just so far down! And guess what, you want to know the best part? At the very end, my 7 year old son faced his fear and jumped, too!!!!! And he “did it scared”. There are not words for the joy I felt inside my body and soul. And it wasn’t so much that he jumped. It was the impact that facing his fear had on him! He was speechless for about an hour…LOL Which is saying a lot since he’s my chatterbox kid. But you know what, Bruce? This has planted a seed inside him (and me). He knows now that he is brave, and that he is cool, and that he is fun. Something he didn’t believe prior to this. (And at such a young age!) How can I say thanks to you? For giving me something so priceless? I know Jesus lead me to your podcast so I could get myself unstuck and LIVE!!!! I will say thanks by sharing with you how you have impacted my life. And I absolutely tell EVERYONE about your podcast! Bruce, I’m so very blessed beyond measure. We are going again this Saturday 🙂 And were going to do it again “scared”.

I absolutely love this message from Mindy and am so proud of her for facing her fear and doing it scared! You see, all of life’s treasures are guarded by fear and self-doubt. The biggest treasure that awaits you, however, is true emotional and spiritual freedom! As I said, “On the other side of fear lies freedom!” Mindy and her son found the thrill of freedom. You can, too!

What is it that you want to do that you know will bring great happiness in your life, but you are too scared to try. I know you’re scared. Do it scared!

5 Responses to Go Ahead and Jump!

  1. Ricki Hinrichs July 31, 2015 at 1:38 PM #

    My attitude has never been do it even if you’re scared, it’s always been do it if you want to or have to. I live each day as it rolls out with no expectations of anything, good or bad which has left me with no disappointed in life…just some people. When I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003, I was not scared. It was just another issue I had to deal with. After all, I had already have 7 surgeries and spent countless days in hospitals for injuries, etc. so cancer was one more thing I needed to deal with, get rid of and move on, which I did. I think I missed 2 weeks of working between the surgery and chemo.

    Despite having no expectations of life, dreams of what I wanted or even what I wanted to be, I have an extremely successful small corporation and designed and built my own 5,408 square foot home on an acre and a quarter. 20 years ago I would have laughed in your face had you forecast that I would have had these things.

    I often thing my sister died because she expected things from life. Even tho she got her PhD, she was always disappointed she never got her M.D. She wanted a big house with maids and servants. Although her and her husband were in the high 6 figure range, had 2 planes and did anything they wanted, she was still disappointed her ‘dreams’ never came true. Instead of seeing what was right in front of her, she died unhappy.

    So my attitude is live each day as it unfolds, deal with anything negative, bask in anything positive and move on. Expect nothing and be pleasantly surprised if good things happen in my life.

    I am constantly asked by my clients, many of whom have turned into friends as they’ve been my clients for so long, what I wanted out of life. Many of my clients are doctors, dentists, lawyers, rocket scientists and engineers. My answer has always been simply a roof over my head and enough money for food which always surprises them.

    So am I wrong in the way I treat life?

    • Bruce July 31, 2015 at 4:29 PM #

      Ricki, of course you’re not wrong in the way you treat life! It’s your life and how you view/treat the events and people in your life is always your choice. I think it is wonderful that you have no fear and that you live each day, each situation, at a time. I don’t think you are implying it, but some might read this and get the impression that people who do experience fear, as in the story I shared, are somehow weaker than you or are flawed in how they see life. I am just as proud of you for overcoming all of your difficulties as I am of Mindy for overcoming her fear of jumping. Most people are like Mindy, and must learn they can “do it scared!”

      • Ricki July 31, 2015 at 5:15 PM #

        I truly hope that no one feels that they are somewhat weaker than I am because that’s not in my DNA for anyone and it was not what I was trying to convey. When I read Mindy’s story that when she overcame her fear she then enjoyed the pleasure of the cove, as, the way I read her story, it was really something she wanted to do and overcame her fear to do it. That’s the key. She really wanted to do it. I am afraid of flying so I don’t because I don’t want to, not because I feel it’s a fear I have to overcome. I think that’s really what I was trying to say that if you are afraid to do something you really want to do, then do it but if it’s something you’re simply afraid of without deriving any real pleasure of overcoming, then let it go. Anyone who really wants to do something but has to overcome the fear of doing it first, it to be commended as I feel that, within itself, takes a lot of courage. At times I wonder if something is wrong with me as I have a neutral attitude of life expecting nothing not to say I haven’t had some extremely positive and negative days behind me.

  2. D'Anne Hotchkiss September 2, 2015 at 7:36 AM #

    Bruce, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been too scared to do something adventurous and later wished that I had. I’ve also had a few times in my life when I’ve been forced to do something that scared me in a different way. Forced because there was no way back, no place to stay put, and so going forward was the only option. There’s no rush of pleasure of having gone forward. However, there was, as you point out, freedom. When your desire for freedom trumps your fear, you’re right, you just do it scared, because that’s the only choice you have. Thanks for putting this into perspective for me.

  3. Cher May 21, 2016 at 2:52 AM #

    I read this article this morning. It appeared on the home page of my phone and couldn’t be more timely. As I cried out to God for help, not sure what to do next this article appears. I’m in the middle of listening to the podcast Life is a Marathon, but I wanted to say that God has led me to you this morning to conquer my fears that are holding me back. I pray that I will break through the barrier this time and not rebound like I have many times before like there’s a rubber band at the finish line to that chapter of my life. Thanks Bruce. I’m going to listen to your podcast series.

    Best wishes

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