I’m not much of a swimmer. I can dog paddle for very short periods at a time. Otherwise I’m too pooped to pop. Treading water escapes me. There’s a rhythm to it that I just don’t get. Mostly I just make a big splash and call it a fun day at the pool.
I love to go to the beach. But again, I don’t swim. Instead I comb for natural treasures washed ashore by the wind and waves. Bleached and broken bits of shells half buried beneath my toes. Tiny rocks made smooth and shiny by the tumbling sea. I especially love gnarled and knobby pieces of driftwood, torn from the ancient limbs of coastal trees. My all-time favorite finds are the shards of apothecary blue or coke-bottle green glass, buffed and polished by sand and surf.
Whether I’m at the pool or the beach, the one thing I’ve never ever done is dive in. The mere thought fills my heart with terror. Dark, inky, suffocating irrational fear overtakes the part of my brain that knows better. Suffice to say, it’s not on my bucket list and never will be. And I’m okay with that.
For as much as the thought of diving into the watery depths gives me angst, there is one arena that I do dive in without trepidation. Professionally. Over the years I have become skilled at leaping, lunging and launching into the vast unknown. And for some strange reason it’s always been so. My first big leap was into Advertising as a Copywriter. I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing at first. I had read Ogilvy on Advertising, liked to write, had watched countless commercials, and actually read the ads in newspapers and magazines. But most importantly, I just knew that if I went for it – hook, line and sinker – it would be, not only a game-changer, a life-changer. So I dove right into the deep end. Head first into a world I knew very little about but wanted to be a part of. And I’ve been dive-bombing ever since. Sometimes I belly flop and founder. I’ve even sunk a few times. But it’s always been worth the plunge.
There are so many benefits to diving into the deep at work. Here are a few that I would like to share with you, in no particular order.
- You’ll grow and stretch in ways you never thought possible. Professionally and personally. The new and wonderful things you learn at work will spill over into all the other areas of your life. It’s a lens-changer.
- You’ll start to conquer fear. Maybe not entirely, but you’ll learn that you can feel the fear and still do “it” anyway. Shaky legs will get you there, wherever that is. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
- You’ll be one of those admirable people who always rise to the occasion, no matter how difficult or challenging. This is the stepping-stone to leadership.
- You’ll get to collaborate with really bright, inspiring and talented people. You’ll get to be part of something bigger than yourself. And when that happens, there’s only one word for it. Magic.
- You’ll discover that the more you do, the more you can do. You’re capabilities, strengths and wisdom in all areas will increase exponentially.
- You’ll get to wear many hats and try your hand at different things. Experiment and test new ideas. Be multi-faceted and express yourself in all your glorious colors.
- You’ll gain the trust and confidence of those around you. You’ll become their “go to” person. With that will come more opportunities and increased responsibility.
- You’ll go to places you never thought possible. Not just in the physical world. That’s just half the equation. You’ll discover places in your wandering mind that exceed your wildest imaginings.
- You’ll start to enjoy the exhilaration of stepping off the edge into whatever is out there. Without hesitation or second-guessing. You’ll become a champion at risk-taking. You’ll understand intimately the meaning of “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” No one will ever accuse you of not trying, of giving up before you start, of being a quitter. Because you will be an extreme diver.
- You’ll be happier.