I’m that person. You can judge. I’m the one standing on the dock for way too long staring at the water and arguing with myself about jumping in.
Four things to note:
- I have already made the decision that I will go in the water and I always do eventually
- I seem to take the same amount of hesitation time no matter what the actual temperature of the water and/or air
- The slow easing in… some people swear by it, I find it torturous and will always choose to jump in if there is a dock or a rocks
- No sharks
It’s an occupational hazard for me to think about what I am thinking, how it makes me feel, how that translates into action, and more importantly, how this has formed my patterns and habits. Once I’ve recognized that something is a pattern or a habit, I can decide if it’s something that works for me.
I decided that this frequent drawn out angst about jumping into the lake is not working for me. I don’t actually like the brain loop of thinking that I should just jump in, trying to get myself psyched up, but then deciding to put it off for a few more moments. I’m basically disappointing myself over and over again each time I wimp out. The thing is, all I’m really dreading is that split second shock that comes the moment you hit the water. The feeling I am avoiding literally lasts less than a second.
I’ve never once regretted going in the water, and the best part always comes after the split second shock. Either I’m refreshed and I hang out in the water, or I can get out and enjoy warming up. So basically I’ve made it a habit to waste many minutes dreading a split second, while simultaneously delaying almost certain enjoyment. Not brilliant, and clearly not self serving.
With three days left at the lake I decided to break this habit. I vowed that the second I walk to the edge of the dock with intent, no hesitating allowed. I’m allowed to count to three (my small indulgence) and then I have to go in. Once I made this decision, the first thing I did was to tell everyone else at the cottage so that they could bust me if need be, but the thing is, after thinking it though so clearly, I want to dive in right away. It just seems so illogical to argue with myself on the dock and invite prolonged anxiety. I acknowledge that there will be a split second shock, but I also acknowledge that the shock is nothing more than momentary discomfort, and I’ve dealt with way worse, with way less trepidation. Finally, I focus on the good part, the feeling once I’m in, and the knowlege that once I’m in, I can get out if I feel like it.
With this decision, I wonder how many minutes of stressful standing on a dock I’ve saved myself?
I’m not going to bore you with the obvious, as I know that you understand how this can be applied to life beyond the edge of the dock, but I hope you will ask yourself the following:
When I make a decision to do something because I want the results, am I inclined to put it off if I know I will have to pass through momentary discomfort?