Last night at the Open Mic @ The Dan (a weekly Open Mic that I run) I was having a chat with someone who was just about to experience her first time performing at the Open Mic.
She was very, very nervous and was almost in tears with the thought of getting up on stage and bearing herself to a room full of musicians who she felt were way better than her.
She was having second thoughts about performing and she was up on stage next.
I could only imagine that for someone who has only just started playing the guitar not even six months ago, the thought of coming to a well attended Open Mic full of quality performers such as the one at The Dan would be unthinkable.
She was grappling with the concept of stepping right out of her comfort zone and taking a leap of faith.
As I was chatting to her I was starting to think what a leap of faith would feel like and how I could adequately put the feeling into words. I then had a moment of clarity where I was reminded of the first time I jumped off the high diving tower at the local swimming pool many, many years ago.
I could remember in every detail walking up the ladder towards the top, giddy with anticipation but intensely nervous at the same time.
I remember being up there for what seemed like eternity, and having the feeling of being completely paralysed by fear but I couldn’t climb down from the platform as the fear of losing face in front of the others kids was stronger.
I remembered finally taking a deep breath, running towards the edge and (with an almighty scream) jumping in.
This flashback I experienced only lasted for a brief moment but in that moment I was taking the leap of faith with her.
Just before she went on stage I told her of my diving tower analogy and that by going through with her performance she will change her worldview (and her place in it) forever.
She then got up on stage and put in an absolutely wonderful performance.
Come to think of it, I’ve never jumped off the high diving tower since that day.