To really let your full potential shine, to feel proud of the effort you make and the way you show up, you need time to go deep

It was hot where I grew up. Summers were days on end of shimmering heat and there was no better antidote to that heat than getting wet. There were plenty of dams around – roughly dug water holes in the dry and dusty paddocks – so enticing on a hot day! I wanted to run and launch myself into that water, feeling the shock of the cold and the relief from the heat.

I badly wanted to, but I never did.

For me, it was always an internal tug-of-war between my desire to cool down and my urge to stay safe. You see, a dam is not a swimming pool. There are no stairs, no tiled bottom, no clear chlorinated water. There’s no knowing what’s on the bottom because you can’t see it. And that right there is fertile space for an imaginative, fearful, worrying mind!  

As a child, I often settled for staying in the shallows of the dam, convincing myself that cooling down my feet and calves was enough.

As an adult, I have the tendency to do the same thing. Nowadays though, I swim in a beautiful tiled pool where I can see all around me so it’s not the murky water of dams I’m afraid of diving into, but rather the murky, unclear parts of my life.

This year I’m challenging myself to go deep. And I’m inviting you to do the same.

It was this quote from David Lynch that got me really fired up to go deep

Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.

It’s true. You can stay shallow, fill your spare time with trashy tv and endless social media scrolling. You’ll still have ideas, you’ll still take actions, and they’ll be ok. But, to really let your full potential shine, to feel proud of the effort you make and the way you show up, you need time to go deep.  

You simply won’t catch the big fish in the shallows.

They can’t exist there. So if like me, you have some big fish in mind for yourself this year, you’re going to have to step out of the comfortable shallows to get them.

Your inner voice will try to stop you

Each step you take into the deep will have your brain screaming ‘Go back! You don’t need to do this! Get back to what you know best! This is not for you!  Don’t worry, that’s normal brain behaviour. It’s our brain’s job to keep us safe and out of any possible danger.

Don’t get stuck preparing to go deep!

By all means, do some preparation and gather what you think will be helpful. But remember: you can’t cover all eventualities. Endless preparing is just another form of staying in the shallows. At some stage you’ve just gotta jump!


quote reference: Catching the Big Fish, D.Lynch

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