Taking the Leap: 5 Lessons I Learned from Skydiving

Hello, and welcome back to Mindfully Grace!

Today I wanted to share some life lessons that have been really important to me over the last year! Just this past month, I had the opportunity to go skydiving. After a crazy few months (ie: getting sent home from college, COVID, lockdown, cancelled summer plans, etc) I really wanted to do something adventurous and exciting. Skydiving checked the boxes! Surprisingly, it is also a great analogy to a lot of the lessons I have learned and the places I have moved to in my life. I hope sharing these things will help you see from a new perspective and challenge you to evaluate yourself and your habits! Understanding these things have truly helped me put my life in perspective, and I hope they can help you too.

  1. Think hard before you act but once you act give it your all.

“Good things come to those who wait” has been an important part of my life in the past years. Making calculated decisions that you thoroughly think about will honestly change the way you think. From the smallest of habits you are analyzing to major life changes, breaking down the pros and cons, envisioning your future, and thinking long term will help you commit confidently and fully to the decisions you make. It can also help you take advantage of whatever situation you are in because you already are content with your decisions! Once you commit to a decision, going all in will help maximize your experience and reach your goals, whether it requires your time, resources, or sometimes even sacrificing your leisure activities. If it is worth it in the end, you won’t regret pushing yourself to do the best you can do! I started thinking about skydiving when I was pretty young, and I knew it was something I wanted to do. Once I made my decision, I knew letting myself get nervous or doubting my ability would just take away from the quality of the experience. So, I went all in! And quite frankly, once you are about to jump out of a plane, you are either all in or all in and also terrified.

2. Either things are usually bigger in your head or they aren’t big enough in your head.

This is all about priorities. A lot of times in life we prioritize the wrong things or overanalyzing situations. Additionally, sometimes the things that seem small in your life are actually holding more things together than you think. If you really start to look at the relationships and habits in your life, you can fit together the pieces of the priority puzzle. Too often we get caught up in other people’s problems, comparison, or self doubting. We can also neglect small habits that make more of a difference in our life, from something as small as drinking more water to as big as committing more time to the people in your life you may take for granted. When I was jumping out of a plane, the reason I enjoyed it so much was because I shared the experience with people I love. The jump itself, while amazing, was in fact more scary in my head. Prioritizing the experience and not the physical action of the jump was a game changer for me!

3. It’s a mind game.

Everything is in your head. Any goal you choose to have, whether physical or intellectual, is a mind game- a race of your mind competing with its friend called the comfort zone.

Stepping out of your comfort zone in all areas of your life, all the time, is a critical element for growth. If you are not constantly moving toward something, you become stagnant, and it is a lot harder to start moving again. There are so many analogies for this, but one of the clearest I can think of is a hiker and a river. If you are flowing water, always moving, fresh, clean, and powerful, you are a lot more desirable to a weary hiker than a pool of stagnant water that has some dirt and growth forming in it. Once you become the river you ability to recognize the pools is amazing. Once you start playing your mind, the better and better at it you can get.

Free falling was definitely out of my comfort zone. While I was not extremely nervous, the adrenaline was definitely there as I peered out the edge of the plane at 10,000 feet in the air. However, jumping is never something I will regret! It showed me that I can control myself, my emotions, and my reactions to things. Mastering your mind puts you in the driver’s seat of your life!

4. Everything has risks, you just need to weigh them against the benefits.

Obviously, skydiving has its risks. I signed my life away on the waiver. But, despite the risks, the stats I found and the information from the place that I jumped helped me weigh my decision and decide to take the leap.

It is just like anything in life. Nothing is truly risk free, and most everything has at least one con. We have to start weighing in EVERYTHING to our decisions. The more information you put down, the more educated of a decision you can make (science!). Actually making lists is helpful, and then you can calculate the benefits of the decisions you make.

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5. Life is fleeting. Every moment counts, but don’t count every moment.

I think this may be the most important lesson. You may have noticed the trend of all my major points being about decision making. While I believe making the right decisions for yourself is absolutely critical, you have to understand that everything our lives is only a small part of the bigger picture. We never know when our life will end, so it is important to make decisions that count: choosing things that make a difference, choosing things we love and enjoy, choosing things we can achieve, choosing things we hope and dream and believe for. But we cannot hold anything too dearly, because everything can easily slip away. So first and foremost, we need to know who we are as people, and then everything we do can be a positive experience and not an identity. Letting our experiences dictate our lives is putting our life satisfaction in the hands of the world, and based on where we are right now, usually things don’t always line up perfectly.

I remember jumping. I remember my 45 seconds of flying. But even though I just did it 6 weeks ago, it feels like a lifetime ago. I have pictures and snippets in my mind but the experience, just like life, happened in the blink of an eye. When we put things in perspective, it makes our time all the more valuable. So we need to work in our time, but let time work for us as well, so we can experience our dreams and see things come to pass that we only imagined.

I hope this was inspiring and useful for you! Recognizing these things has truly changed me, and I think they can change you too, it you are open.

Stay strong, stay positive, stay mindful.

~Grace