Yes, that’s me in the picture. Hanging by my toes on a bar, hoping my partner will reach my wrists and enable my flight through the air.
It’s no exaggeration to say I was way outside my comfort zone when I took up flying trapeze.
It’s a beautiful sport, combining creative performance with team work. I was looking to try something completely new, to be open to disruption and find that courage to fly.
The strength to face your fears is in everyone, you just need to set it free.
Facing your fears head on
When you’re standing on a platform 10 meters above ground, nervous – but at the same time excited – it is the encouraging smile of your instructor that gives you confidence. If he is sure I can do it, then I can.
Then comes the moment when you need to take the step from the platform into the air. For a second you are free falling and you’re very aware that everything depends on the strength of your arms. Yes, there is a safety harness, but your brain doesn’t believe you and your heart pumps like crazy.
The key is to take that step. Once you’ve overcome the fear, you feel so proud of yourself and desperate to do more.
I’ve taken this combination of creativity and confidence into my own personal and career growth.
Applying what you’ve learned from sports in your work life
When I joined adidas, my first position was in IT, something I’d been doing for more than 10 years and was very confident in, but I’d always wanted to try something completely new.
When I received an offer to transfer to Logistics, I accepted it right away, but when I got home in the evening I was overcome with concerns: “What if my experience is not enough? I am not an expert in logistics – how will I know we are doing the right things?” It was a mixture of wanting the change and feelings of reservation.
The way to overcome them was to leave the safety of the platform and fly. It was challenging. I had to learn a lot of new things, accept my mistakes and grow from them. My strength was in my team, in the belief that I can do it, and in enjoying the challenge.
Be determined and you’ll get there in the end
In flying trapeze, I want to learn so many new elements but I only have an hour a couple times a week, and work to make the most out of it. I put all my effort into it, at times I get frustrated and tired but I keep working to turn this one hour into valuable experience and results.
Doesn’t this remind you of your own office routine? Make the first step, deal with the difficulties and limited resources, learn from your experiences and repeat.
No matter whether it’s sport or business, you just do what needs to be done, put up with insecurities and fears and through your commitment, you’ll achieve success.