Taking the leap to entrepreneurship requires courage and facing ourselves. Here I tell the story of my journey into a Chinese mountain.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
– Brené Brown
Many years ago, I went on a trip to China. At that time, I was working as an International Marketer. We were going to hike a beautiful mountain I saw on the postcard. There I discovered that climbing that mountain is like taking the leap to entrepreneurship.
So, you see the “postcard”… It looks good and shiny. Until you realize there is more beyond the picture. Before I leaped into entrepreneurship it was like that picture: super exciting freedom. I felt something similar when I was with my co-workers on the bus ride, going to the mountain.
When we took a ski lift – suddenly, we were out of our comfort zone, literally on top of the mountain. I remember the feeling of astonishment. It was like when I told my husband I was quitting my job and gave my resignation to my boss. I also felt that when I told a friend I was going to change the world.
But it doesn’t end with the ski lift. The next leap is climbing the mountain. There, you face yourself. I didn’t know entrepreneurship felt like that. As an entrepreneur, eyes were on me, my performance was directly up to me.
There wasn’t a boss or an organization to blame. All results were up to me. In that sense, entrepreneurship is like climbing a mountain. Nobody else can climb it for you.
We had to carry a small bag. But because of the fatigue, someone helped me carry my bag in the middle. Also, there were friends that accompanied me, and who I laughed with, making the journey more enjoyable.
Leaping in Life: time to face yourself
Yet me dealing with my fears and the pain in my legs from climbing have to be me. It wasn’t a massage or an ointment that did it. It was me with my inner power, knowing I could do it, imagining myself towards the finishing line.
I think It was a combination of pride and dignity. I was not going back. Also, my imagination of what will be like to stay next to a “mountain lion.”
Whenever I tell my son this story, he says “mommy I don’t think there were mountain lions”. I don’t know. Yet, the mere idea was a great motivator to keep moving.
When we arrived at the end of our journey, to the mountain hotel, everyone was captivated by the view, the sunset. That is all I have climbed for. Yet I got the biggest lessons of my life then.
I wasn’t captivated by the view. Instead, I was captivated by who I became after I climbed the mountain. I became a woman who accessed her inner power, and had new friends from the journey.
That moment is engraved forever in my heart, in my memory. I grew up into a woman that was able to count 1,600 steps. A woman that heard her fearful thoughts and used her imagination to keep going.
Leaping in life isn’t about the goal. It is about the journey, the person you become. It has to do with your inner resources to walk the trip. Lots of people want to prepare and have a perfect journey. They want a predesigned map. But you can’t foretell everything.
What Leaping Means
When you leap, you give yourself the gift of the unknown, uncertainty, meaning, and excitement. Most of all, you get the knowledge that is you who leaps, and that no one can do it for you.
That is the greatest accomplishment. You can get the guidance, support, or read a book. But doing it is what gets you to the next level, what gets you the gold start.
Because of these experiences, I came to realize that there are three elements of leaping:
- Having a new place to leap
- Taking action
- Leaving your comfort zone
Find your inner power, develop trust by keeping moving, and acknowledge who you become because of your journey.
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