150 ft.. 100.. 50.. WHAM!
"I have the controls!" said my instructor pilot (IP,) as we bounced back into the air. We had come down so hard with my attempt at a landing that we went airborne again.
"You have the controls," I replied.
With that I watched the stick and throttle take a life of its own, as if some phantom pilot had now taken over the cockpit. In reality it was the instructor making adjustments to settle the T-34C until we rolled off the runway.
We taxied to our parking spot with barely a word.
Trying to lighten the mood, the IP asked if I was okay. Dejected I muttered something about being fine - with a "sir," of course.
Back in maintenance control, we signed in our bird. The lieutenant made a few comments that things went well overall. It was my first flight and my first attempt at a landing.
I'm not sure what came over me, but as I entered our flight data, I asked the IP, "Sir, should I count that as one landing or two?" He look surprised and chuckled, "Let's go with two - we'll each get one a piece!"
Creativity is about taking risks. Although we try to push ourselves - grow in our comfort zone of the risks we're willing to take - at some point we just need to really stretch.
I often refer to the model the Heath brothers talk about in Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (affiliate link - thanks for your support!) that we must master this dance between our emotional side the "Elephant" and our rational side the "Rider."
Although the Rider is greater at figuring out where we need to go, if we fail to appreciate the power of the much larger Elephant, the Rider is going to lose.
As a creative entrepreneur, this means you need to lower the bar and "Break down the change until it no longer spooks the Elephant.” How can you do this? Find the one thing you can do today towards progress.
Got a business idea for a new book? Brainstorm questions and an outline. Thinking about making a video? Write out a rough draft. Picturing a new design for your product line? Sketch out the key elements. Start there.
Take action. Then do it again. Build on this until it becomes a habit that's second nature. As you progress, surround yourself with those who not only support you but encourage and lift you up. Success breeds success. The more momentum you build, the more it impossible it will be to fail.
Surviving that first landing allowed me to finally push my limit. As I connected with my fellow student pilots, we shared everything from study tricks to "gouge" on each instructor. I learned to build my confidence and face my fears each step of the way.
Similarly I've learned to surround myself with other creative entrepreneurs. By watching and sharing I've gained more confidence in many areas - from building a website to create animated videos and even graphic design.
How do you stretch your own comfort zone? What inspires you to go further each day?
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