brett_skydiveIn case you missed one of my not so subtle brags on Facebook or at The Wellness Summit in Melbourne or on my TV screen at Greenhill   Family Chiropractic I just want to let you know that a couple of weeks ago I jumped out of an aeroplane!

Now I know that over 70,000 people go skydiving in Australia every year but I still feel like this is something worth sharing with you again. Not  to brag again but to share with you why I jumped and what lessons I learnt that can help you overcome your fears, anxieties and challenges as  well.

So a few months ago in the glow of a new relationship I bravely suggested to my partner that she should encourage me to overcome my fear of  heights and jump out of an aeroplane (she had done so several times already, show off!). Now if you have seen the video from Cave Camp of  me doing the leap of faith off of the 12m platform (fully harnessed I might add) then you will realise that I am VERY afraid of heights. So  naturally as the day drew nearer I got more and more apprehensive. Even more so a couple of days before the event when a light plane  crashed not too far form our intended jump sight and even more when the forecaster started talking about 100km/hour winds on the day of the  jump!

So I decided to call on my good friend Dr Patrick Sim. Not only a good mate but an amazingly lateral thinker and a bit of a daredevil having jumped out of planes several times before. ‘Patrick’ I said, ‘I am booked to jump out of a plane tomorrow and I am not sure I can do it’. By this stage my palms were sweating and my knees were knocking and I hadn’t even gone near an airport, let alone left the ground. So Pat started talking me through it. He told me that it wasn’t really that scary, in fact it was quite boring (I didn’t believe him). He told me that once you are up there it is too surreal and the ground is too far away for you to feel scared (I’m not stupid I thought, I know the ground is down there). He told me that thousands of people do it every year and that I was just a wuss, that even little girls can jump out of planes (not so PC but it did hit my pride where it hurts and make me start to think). I said to him “Patrick, this is making me feel bad about not jumping out of a plane but it isn’t making me want to do it. I need to know WHY I need to jump out of a plane’!

So finally Patrick said the thing that I needed to hear to jump. He said ‘Brett, every week you are up on stage and on your podcast show and in your book talking to people about making change. You are asking people to do things that for them are very scary. You are asking them to get out of their comfort zone. You are asking them to overcome their limiting beliefs. If you want to be genuine then you need to walk your walk. You need to overcome your own fears and beliefs, get out of your own comfort zone and in short you need to jump out of that plane’.

Well fortunately for me the 100km/hour winds meant that the jump was cancelled the following day and I had a couple more weeks to reflect on Patrick’s words. And amazingly by the time the jump came around I was determined to get it done, to be the change I wanted to see in the world (and yeah to brag a little). Let’s not pretend though that on the day of the jump I wasn’t more than a little scared. In fact even as I type this into my much maligned Toshiba laptop my palms are sweating a little. As soon as we entered the car park of the jump site my hands started to sweat and my legs started to shake, even more so as we watched a few of the victims before us take the plunge. Not helped by the friendly yet sadistic humour of my dive instructor. I did manage to discover though that he had successfully jumped 4000 times without dying though so that made me feel a little better.

Interestingly though by the time we got up into the air I became more determined than scared. My mantra was ‘just trust him, he has done it 4000 times, he knows what he is doing’ and so when it came time to jump (actually I told him just to push me) I didn’t hesitate to move across and dangle my feet off of the edge of a plane 9000 feet up in the air (I had imagined it in my mind going more like a Sylvester cartoon with my nails gouging the edge of the plane as he forced me out the door).

The first 5 seconds or so of the dive was just a blur as my mind tried to comprehend the stupidity of what I had just done but then the next 25 seconds or so of free fall, reaching speeds up to 200km/hour were pure exhilaration, fun and laughter (albeit a little nervous). I never thought I would say this but I LOVED it. It was such a rush and I am so glad I did it. The rest of the dive with the chute open was very serene (and dare I say it Patrick boring) but I was still very glad to get my feet on the ground.

So what is the point of this longwinded story (other than for me to have yet another opportunity to point out the fact that I jumped out of a plane)? It is to remind you that as Simon Sinek says in his amazing book of the same title ‘It Starts with Why’. My why for everything I do in the wellness sphere is that I want to inspire people to make healthy lifestyle changes because I want to create a world for my kids to grow up in where the healthy ones are the norm not the exception. So as silly as it sounds I jumped out of the plane for the sake of my kids and it made it easy.

So what is your why? What are you here on this planet to do? How is being happy, healthy and energetic going to help you achieve that?

Answer this question and you may well find that setbacks you had weren’t because of the knowledge you had or the tools you tried to use but the lack of a real motivation to change, a WHY!