Take the “Jump off the Cliff” Challenge

Posted on: Nov 26, 2013

Categories: Goal Setting, Living the Dream

Making your dreams a reality requires “jumping off the cliff,” which means going for something even before you feel totally prepared or comfortable.

The best way to become a marathon runner is to begin walking, the best way to get a job is to begin drafting your resume, and the best way to become a speaker is to stand up and speak in front of an audience.

A few years ago, I witnessed a very exciting jump off the cliff moment.  My wife and business partner, Elle Zimmerman, has been building and developing my business for years, but at this point in our lives, it is her turn to work on building and developing her own brand.

Elle jumped off the cliff by challenging herself to do 50 speaking engagements in 50 weeks. She didn’t know who or where or what she’d speak on, but she set the bar high.

I was honored to be the keynote speaker for an audience of 450 women from P&G, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Duke Energy. I saw this as an amazing opportunity for Elle to start speaking, so when my name was announced at the conference, Elle came out on stage instead of me. She took 15 minutes of my keynote time to speak to the women, inspire them, and challenge them to support one another in the workplace.

She could have easily said, “No, Curtis, I’m not ready for this. Speak in front of 450 Fortune 100 company employees? Are you kidding me?”

But she didn’t. Elle saw an opportunity to advance toward her goal, and she took it.

And now, I ask you: Are you ready to jump off the cliff? Here’s how.

1. Determine what cliff you need to jump off of.

Don’t take a risk just to take a risk. Ask yourself: Is there something I keep thinking and talking about? What’s preventing me from doing it?

2. Start small.

The best way to become someone who works out in the morning is to begin waking up five minutes earlier each day. Fill in the blanks with your own challenge: The best way to become a ___________  is to begin ___________. Make a commitment to begin, and do it!

3. Write down actionable goals.

Write down three actionable steps you can take towards your goal throughout the month, even if they’re just ways to begin climbing to the cliff’s edge. Start with small steps, and congratulate yourself for every inch of progress. Remember: Only you can stop yourself from Living Your Dream, so do whatever you can to set the bar high. (To really kickstart your goals, get a free download of my Write a New Script eBook!)

4. Find someone to kick you. 

The role of a mentor is two-fold: To inspire and encourage you, and also, to kick you off the cliff. I once kicked my friend Craig off a cliff into his dream career, and he’s never looked back. Sometimes, you need someone to tell you that you’re ready before you believe you are.

5. Just JUMP! 

Reaching a goal is equal parts careful preparation and reckless risk. For example: While Elle did map out her speaking career, write down actionable goals, find mentors, and practice, she spoke in front of a huge audience before she felt totally ready.

It’s time to stop just watching the show, to get out of the wings, and to stand center stage.

Check out Elle’s coaching work here, and give her a follow on Instagram.

You Might Also Like

Curtis Zimmerman awarding the Living the Dream scholarship

In 20 Years as a Speaker, This Was my Greatest Honor

PHOTO: (L-R) Trustee Lev Kubiak, President Michael Victor, Curtis Zimmerman, Cole Prots, Taylor Cavaretta, Rachel Hull and Maddie Weitz. WHEN THE PHONE RANG Last fall, the phone rang in my office. I was…

Read More
Coin jar

The Five Penny Challenge

“What a great job you did today!”  Doesn’t it feel good to hear this? We all love getting compliments, but unfortunately, some of us aren’t as good at remembering to give them. This…

Read More

Starting 2015 the Right Way

Happy New Year! I hope you celebrated in style last night and gave 2015 the welcome it deserves. Most of us have the day off today—perhaps to recover from some overzealous celebrating last…

Read More