Over a decade ago, I skydived in the South of France for the first time. Strapped to my instructor, I jumped (or more precisely, I froze and then was thrown) out of the plane and discovered a brand new world.
We landed a few minutes later, and I could barely realise what had just happened. My brain, completely overflown with adrenaline, was struggling to comprehend all the things that just unravelled in a fraction of time.
But even if my thoughts were a mess, I knew one thing for certain: I loved it and wanted more!
To skydive more, I went on a lengthy course, learning the theory, practising, rehearsing on the ground, and training again and again. At that time, I could barely jump because conditions had to be almost perfect for the instructors to allow me to go on the plane.
Some days, I would come to the drop zone, expecting to jump with instructors, but nothing happened. I would wait the whole day, watching all the experienced skydivers going up and down multiple times, while I was waiting on the bench for the “right” conditions (low wind, good visibility, and so forth).
That was so frustrating!
But I pulled through, got my licence and could finally jump by myself, even with a bit of wind. Hooray!
I did 27 jumps and was planning for more, but I got the opportunity to work in Asia and postponed skydiving.
And it turned out to be a rather long break.
I expatriated to China and then moved to Australia, progressing my career to launching and growing my practice on high performance, coaching and training.
Several times, I thought, “wouldn’t it be great to jump again?”. But as time passed, my licence expired. This meant that I had to start all over again. Pay a hefty training fee and wait hours on the ground.
That was “too tedious” to go through again. Maybe I was “too old” by now. And surely “too busy” to get the time to get the certification again.
I had plenty of excuses to say it was “too much”.
But as I looked honestly at it and wondered, “why is it that truly upset you?”, I got a clearer answer. Being a beginner again was bothering me. It felt as if I was losing my previous achievements. As if the 27 skydive jumps didn’t happen.
Starting anew felt like a loss.
And the best way to combat loss aversion is to reframe it as an opportunity. So, I changed my internal dialogue. I’m not losing my past achievements; I have the opportunity to experience a “first time” once more.
It’s like watching a movie you saw ages ago and rediscovering it with the same excitement you had back then. We completely forgot about this part of the plot, which was so exciting.
Or we notice new details. Like these Disney animation films we watched as a kid and rewatched now as an adult, catching up on all the inside jokes and references hidden by the animators (Shrek – anyone?).
And beyond this, you can experience your own “madeleine de Proust”.
French author Proust wrote the worldwide famous A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (e.g. In Search of Lost Time), where the author is offered by his mother some tea and a madeleine (a shell-shaped cake) to warm him up. The madeleine’s taste overwhelmed him with emotions as he suddenly remembered his childhood and getting the same snack back then.
Personally, I hadn’t been to a skydiving drop zone for more than 13 years, but as I was prepping for my first tandem jump, I passed by the kerosene tank, and the strong smell threw me years back. Strange madeleine but truly an incredible experience.
If you are sitting on the fence about similar decisions, ask yourself, how many people wish they could experience a first time again?
How many people wish they could do something they love one more time?
If you are telling yourself it’s “too late”, it’s “too difficult”, it’s “too costly” to start again, then it might be your loss aversion speaking.
Instead, reframe it into an opportunity to experience greatness again.
I hope you enjoyed this newsletter and it will help you think differently. And if you start something again, I would love to know how it made you feel.
To your success xX
PS: Thank you for reading this newsletter. If someone has forwarded this to you, you can subscribe here.
Whenever you are ready, here are a few ways I can help:
- If you are about to make an important decision for yourself (or your team) – let me be part of your inner circle and work towards your success, book a call with me to discuss this.
- Book one of my workshops for your team to elevate energy and performance. More information here.
- With my first book Act Before You overThink to learn how to make better decisions faster and liberate your mind from the constant chatter that hinders your potential. You can buy it here.