How to Be Fearless

Shut Up and Jump

My oldest child joined a church youth group on a lake trip several years ago, and one of the activities they took part in was cliff diving, which required him to simply jump.

As he told me about the trip, he said that if any of the teens were hesitant about the dive, the group would yell: “Shut up and jump!” and in all things over the weekend, any fear was overcome with their friends telling them to “shut up and jump”.

Out of the mouths of babes! Brilliant!

Shut up and jump!

Like that brave group of teenagers standing and peering over the cliff and contemplating everything that could possibly go wrong if they decided to make the jump, 9 times out of 10, it is fear that holds us back and keeps us from being all that we believe we can be… or hope to be.

The fear of the unknown … or sometimes even the fear of the known, can leave us paralyzed.

Do any of these sentences sound familiar to something you’ve said to yourself?

“But what if it hurts?”
“But what if I embarrass myself?”
“But what if people laugh at me?”
“But what if it doesn’t work?”
“But what if its the wrong choice?”
“But what if it causes more people to notice me?”
“But what if people DON’T notice me. And I need them too!”
“But what if people think I’m a moron? Or an idiot? Or both?”
“But what if I fall flat on my face?”
“But what if I don’t succeed?”
“But what if I DO succeed?”
“But what if prove that I’m a failure?”
“But what if they wont accept me?”
“But what if I put myself out there and nobody responds?”
“But what if they reject me?”

. . . . should I continue or do you get the point?

And those are just the “But what’s” that came to mind right now. I don’t even want to think about how many others I could come up with if I just gave myself some time. It would be a lot. A lot, a lot! “But what if’s” run wild in my mind at all times. It’s like a free for all up there.

The fact of the matter is, we allow these sentences – these questions, to infiltrate our minds in a constant stream, rolling around and washing our brains in nothing more than negative thoughts and a fear of what might be.

What if we were able to reprogram our minds? What if instead asking “but what” questions, we replaced them with a new dialogue – one of ACTION rather than speculation. What if we just “shut up and jump”?

I have an assignment for you. Keep this post open, but open another tab in your Internet browser and go to http://www.flickr.com/. When you arrive there, search for the word “jump”. Tons of pictures will come up. I then want you to scroll through them.

How do you feel looking at the pictures? Do you notice a common theme?

Go on. . . I’ll wait.

Welcome back.

For me, when I looked at the pictures I couldn’t help but smile. There’s something about witnessing someone jump, that brings me joy. Look at the pictures again. Did you seen any where people were frowning while they jumped? Even jumping off a cliff, once the person does it, there’s an immediate sense of satisfaction and thrill – they can’t help but smile.

The pictures are active – of course, jumping is a verb. It is action. It requires the person to make a choice to move – to just “shut up and jump”.

 So, how do you overcome fear? By DOING what you’re afraid of.

You overcome fear by ignoring the “but what if” questions that literally fill your mind, and you tell yourself: “Shut up and jump”!

 So here you are, at a crossroads. Sitting back in contemplation about what to do, asking yourself all the “But What” questions. I have a suggestion for you . . .
“Shut up and Jump!”

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