When trapeze artists swing from bar to bar, there’s a moment when they hang suspended in midair, reaching for the next bar. For that split second, it’s as if they are flying, sometimes without a net beneath them. Their eyes are fixed on their destination, arms outstretched. To the viewer, the moment is fleeting. But for the artist, it feels eternal. There is nothing to hold onto except their belief and trust that they will make it.
This is a wonderful analogy for us during our own changes, transitions, and “leaps” in our lives. There is a moment between where we are right now and where we want to be—a phase in between what we have known and what we are reaching out for—when it can feel like we are flying without a net. It’s during this time that we need the same unwavering belief and trust that we will make it. If we don’t, we risk being like a trapeze artist who feels anxious, scared, or unsure mid-flight. They would either fall short of the new bar or fail to let go, leaving them dangling from the old bar. Similarly, for us, failing to leap leaves us helplessly suspended in our old world, preventing us from growing and “flying.”
There comes a point in everyone’s life when we will need to let go of the old bar to continue to move forward and courageously leap to the new one, fortified by our belief and trust that we will make it. Remember, growth is not just enriching, it’s inevitable. Our choice isn’t about whether we want to grow or not. Everyone grows. It’s about the pace and depth of our growth, like the trapeze artist who focuses on the speed and momentum of their swing to ensure a successful jump to the new bar.
Like these performers, we are not simply born with the ability to fearlessly and confidently leap to the next bar. It takes practice and persistence. Our practice involves continuing to believe in ourselves and deepening our trust in life. The more we cultivate these traits, the more courage we muster for leaping to that next bar. Being persistent includes getting comfortable with coming up short now and then, discovering that even if we miss the bar, there is a net below and we will be okay.
As has been said, “Take a leap of faith. You will either land somewhere new or learn to fly.”