This is a brilliant idea, I thought. And then it became complicated. What does it entail, actually, being my own best client.
What does that mean:
I would agree to
- honestly and truly admit my weaknesses,
- being open for a reframe and New Life Perspective and
- commit to being ready for a change and maybe face radical action. I wanted to find out if certain areas in my life can be improved upon. How can I make myself do certain things, wake up parts of me, which I had not believed in.
First up is a mindset test.
How can I use all my strategies and tools to overcome the fear of falling. I had been falling from Sky in my twenties when our amazing friends kindly gifted us a honeymoon skydive experience. I had survived that one, actually enjoyed it. But now, years later, a new task appeared on the horizon, and I was very nervous, scared and doubting myself. I reached out and consulted my friends, I asked:
'Shall I dare to do a Bungee jump when given the opportunity?'
The answer was a resounding NOOO! "Not at your age", "you are not in your 20's, you don't need to prove anything to anyone!", "Why would you?" And exactly those words echoed in my mind 6 months prior our trip to New Zealand. You see, those words made me curious of HOW STRONG WILLED are we humans.
I get it, we are all different. Some would freak out by the mere thought alone of walking over a narrow bridge or standing at a cliff top overlooking a deep valley with a massive drop. People feel dizzy by thought alone, getting sweaty palms, even starting to shake.
On the flip side, other people feel excitement, enthusiasm and elation by the thought alone.
Which group do you belong to?
Here are my thoughts:
Aren't we wonderful creatures. Our mind is a powerful tool. If we use it, direct it, it will always help us achieve what we believe is true!
Our thoughts create reality.
If I continue thinking a Bungee jump were non-sense, I were too old, why bother, Bungee ...."this is ridiculous, I should not be doing this"....My mind would come up with all forms of evidence backing up this belief.
I got really curious and decided to start playing this mindset game and became my own best client with the intent to DO A BUNGEE JUMP.
Here is my process:
- listen to my inner dialogue to find clarity of my desire
- stating the commitment: 'When I am at the bridge and I still want to jump by my own free will, then I will JUMP!
- being mindful of inner dialogue: when I doubted my capability to jump, I said: Come back to the moment, here is now, and now everything is fine. I am safe.
when I started to feel 'achievement pressure' rising....I gave myself a hug, and said "I love you anyway.'
- using an anchor for confidence and visualizations
- I spoke with friends about my imminent adventure, and did this not to hear their opinion only, also to feel into my heart and gut, how I felt with their projection of the danger or excitement.
One awesome teacher at our daughters school, who is mega-adventurous herself, she was the only one who said: YOU GOT TO DO IT! This is so much fun!! Oh, and of course our teenage kids cheered me on and believed in me, jumping with them on the day. Funnily I felt my inner child internally jumping, singing the words: "Hooray, yes we can do it!" A bit of encouragement felt good.
If you knew me, you knew that my mind sometimes provides images as animated movie scenes, like cartoons. This time it was a bit like in the movie "Notting Hill", when Hugh Grant's bonkers friend arrives late to the friends gathering....
about Hughs decision to let Anna (Julia Roberts) leave without him, and very bluntly expresses: "You daft prick!"
I had this movie scene in mind, as I contemplated on the decision and choice I was about to make. Commitment or no commitment? Jump or NO jump!
Fast forward to December 2019: Standing at the original AJ Hackett river bridge near Queenstown, NZ, 43m elevated above the water surface, the atmosphere filled with adventure, spectating crowds cheering for every jumper, it was decision time...... I am standing by the bridge, and I searched internally for an answer. Do I want to jump?
And so the process started: I kept being bewildered by my strength in this decision.
Remembering a conversation with my hairdresser, in which I shared my ultimate strategy for the moment of truth.
When in real danger, we humans activate the fight, flight or freeze reaction. This stress response helps us to survive. I imagined that if in artificial danger of a bungee jump, I could activate my stress response manually. I simply had to imagine that greater danger is behind me, like the famous saber-toothed tiger, or fire or something horrible and this would enable me to jump into safety.
5min later it was my turn.
Strapped into a body harness.
Joking with the psychologically highly-skilled NZ staff.
Smiling for the cameras.
Shuffling forward to the edge...
I am thinking: "I am in the moment, here is now, and now everything is fine. I am safe.
I am safe to jump NOW."
My heart pumping fast, my breath accelerated, my arms and legs tingling. My vision crystal clear and focussed on the task alone.
Julia are you ready?: YES!
...Relief, elation, exhilaration, I DID IT, I am safe, this is NOW.
- Our mind is incredibly powerful. It helps us achieve what we believe in and what we believe to be true.
- If we want to do something, we can overcome mental blocks, doubts, fears.
- Stress response is useful.
- We can commit and find a way to achieve our goals.
- We are
This was a Bungee jump which felt like a fall. Notably I was must have been under the influence of this intoxicating hormonal cocktail, feeling as if I was limitless, invincible. I was scared of my own courage....I had decided to do a second jump the next day. 47m. This time I wanted to FLY rather than fall.
Same procedure to get the mind and body ready to commit to the jump.
What was different:
Scariness was turned into curiosity.
Unknown turned into knowing of the safe feeling of being held by the harness
A fall turned into a FLIGHT.
My comfort zone is now extremely stretched out, and I highly recommend finding your edge.
Children are great role models and cheerleaders. Can you guess if our teens did the jumps and more?
Would I hire myself as a mindset coach again. YES.