Have you ever stood next to a swimming pool on a hot day, wanting to jump in, but hesitating because you knew the water would be chilly at first? This has happened to me a zillion times and has become noticeably worse the older I get!
My husband, Jerry, and I took a walk on the pier at Fairport Harbor this past weekend and saw a group of teenagers in this very predicament. They were sitting on the wall in their swimsuits, all daring the others to “just jump in”.
We walked to the end of the pier, and then on our way back as we walked past the group, one of the boys gave a holler and cannon-balled it into the water. By the way he was yelling once he popped up, the water must have been pretty cold. But he was laughing and egging the other kids to join him.
We stopped and watched for a few minutes, and eventually all of the kids ended up in the water. Each of them made a scene as they first hit the chilly water, but after just moments their bodies seemed to adjust to the temperature and they were having fun.
This brought back memories for me of summer afternoons from my childhood. I remember standing on the edge of the community swimming pool contemplating getting in, and learning from an early age that you just had to do it and your body would quickly “get used to it”.
I also thought about how much longer it takes me to get into the water now that I am older. I typically wait until the sun’s heat is unbearable, even though I know – really know – that the chill of the water is only temporary and I will “get used to it” quickly and feel great!
From a life coaching perspective, this thought really hit home.
Our minds are hard-wired at a very primal level to avoid anything uncomfortable, even when we know it will be temporary. This is one of the reasons why many people procrastinate (sometimes for years – or a lifetime) when making a change that they KNOW will make their life better or even fabulous!
As a life coach, one of the main aspects of my role is to encourage my clients to focus their vision on how great their life will be once they make the change they are wanting and off the temporary uncomfortable feelings associated with the change.
I also found it fascinating that it only took one kid to jump off the pier, and then before you know it, they all did. That’s a topic for another entire newsletter. Lots to think about…
Finally, I don’t like that I was much quicker to jump into the pool when I was a kid. I’m trying to work on this and get back to the courageous mindset of my youth.
I mean, for goodness sake, the bliss of life follows the jumping in, right?