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You’re Not Ready—Take a Leap of Faith Anyway!

I’m going to tell you a story about the first time I took a leap of faith.

Let me bring you back to the early 1980s….

I was very young, before I had started elementary school (this was also back when I was a blond). If you were a kid during this time and you wanted to play video games, you’d have to fill your pockets with quarters and head to the local arcade. If you wanted to watch an old movie, you’d have to pray that it would be re-released in theaters.

And if you wanted to hang out with your friends on a Saturday night or attend a birthday party or go on a date, you had better know how to rollerskate.

I can hear you young folks laughing, but rollerskating was freakin’ HUGE back in the day! Local roller rinks were packed with kids all the time, and they even held classes to teach you how to rollerskate so you wouldn’t be left out of this essential social activity.

I was at one of these training classes one day with a group of 5-year-old kids. Us beginners were on one side of the oval-shaped rink. All the way on the other side across the long length of the rink was the advanced group of older middle school and high school kids.

The little kids were clinging to the carpeted wall, and we were all dressed in frilly neon skirts and leotards. Our skirts were supposed to twirl gracefully as we circled the rink and did tricks…that is, if we ever had the courage to leave the wall.

Our instructor was going over how to tie our laces, the different parts of the skate, and other important things like how to stop.

I wasn’t really paying attention because I was distracted by the advanced group way, way, way across the rink. The older high school girls looked so pretty and talented.

I’ll never know why, but suddenly, the advanced instructor broke off from her lesson and smoothly glided across the rink and stopped in front of the beginners group.

“Anyone who can skate across the rink right now can join the advanced class,” she said.

What?

Was she serious? Many of us had never even been on a roller rink before. Most of us were wearing knee pads.

After a moment, she started slowly skating backwards in a beautiful zig zag towards the advanced group.

I felt something heavy inside my chest, something I had never felt before.

I knew I had to get across the rink because my life depended on it.

Does that sound weird? How could my life depend on skating across a dumb rollerskating rink?

But it was true.

If I didn’t take this leap of faith and just go for it, I would second guess every decision in the future. I needed to trust that I was meant for big things—bigger than what people expected of me.

I could live safely…or I could live fearlessly.

I didn’t look at my instructor. I didn’t look at my mom sitting with the other parents at the snack bar. I didn’t even look at the advanced instructor.

I focused my eyes passed her at the far wall where the advanced group was waiting.

And then I pushed! I pushed my little feet as hard as I could and swung my arms. I scooted forward a few inches…then a few more.

I was doing it! I was doing it!

I just focused my eyes forward and kept moving. By the time I reached the middle of the rink, the advanced instructor had resumed her lesson. There was no turning back now, and the safety of the wall was completely out of reach.

It seemed like it took forever, but it was probably only a couple minutes. Finally, I made it to the far wall and took my place between the much taller girls. I looked back across the rink.

No one had come with me.

I never returned to the beginner class. It was very difficult being in the advanced class, especially because I had never learned some of the basic rollerskating skills, such as how to stop. For years, I still could only stop by slamming into a wall (or my friends).

Despite not being ready, I became an excellent rollerskater because I had taken a leap of faith.

Since then, there have been a few times in my life when I had an overwhelming force rise up from within me that told me that my life depended on taking a leap of faith: leaving an abusive family, quitting a terrible job, moving across the country.

I wasn’t prepared to do any of those things: no money, no new job, no clue what I would do when I got there. I just trusted the feeling within me.

Leap and the net will appear.

What in your life have you been avoiding because you think you’re not ready?

  • Leaving an abusive partner because you haven’t saved enough money
  • Quitting a job that’s killing you because you don’t have another one lined up
  • Moving to a new town or state because you don’t know anyone there
  • Starting your business because you haven’t done enough research
  • Being yourself because no one will love and support the real you

You’re right. You’re not ready.

But does your chest burn with excitement? Are you thinking, “If only…”?

Then do it anyway.

Do it now.

Take that leap of faith.

Your life depends on it.

When have you taken a leap of faith?

12 Comments

  1. Molly on April 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Awesome story, Sage! Such a valuable lesson in it and wow, did it ever bring me back. In the late 70’s, my friends and I would make rollerskate dances to songs and then in the 80’s, I went to the rink all of the time with my friends. Such good times. 🙂



    • Sage on April 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad someone else remembers (or was alive when) rollerskating was popular. I miss going to the roller rink–so many good memories. 🙂



  2. Shybiker on April 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

    A wonderful story. And a solid point. The pictures are heart-melting. Great post!



    • Sage on April 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Aw, thanks! I was a cutie. 🙂 I miss the blond hair. My hair turned dark brown in high school for some reason.



  3. Megan Gann on April 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    DH and I are at the crossroads. We’re ready to jump this summer, but we’ve unfortunately got to finish up our semester of college first. We don’t have jobs right now, but we also don’t have a lease and multiple ties holding us down. Fingers crossed we get to make the jump! I’m ready for the change if not the process.



    • Sage on April 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      That works too. Just because you know you need to take a leap of faith doesn’t mean it has to happen this second. Waiting until just the right moment (even if you’re still not 100% ready) can be a good way to do it. I understand the feeling of wanting the change if not the process. But anything worth having is worth working for, right? Good luck!



  4. Cara on April 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

    This is such a sweet story, and I love seeing your pictures from childhood, you were such a cute kid! Your advice really strikes home for me at this stage in my life, on the verge of an interstate move. I need to take your leap of faith and leave my dreaded job behind when we move and find something more fulfilling for the mind and soul. I appreciate this post Sage, thanks!



    • Sage on April 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      You’re welcome!

      I was a cute kid, but too bad that blond hair didn’t stick around. My hair turned dark brown in high school. Moving is stressful enough–if you can leave your bad job behind, then do it! Moving is a great time to let go of old habits and old ways of thinking too. I believe you can find something more fulfilling, and you’ll know it when you see it. Then…leap! 🙂



  5. Cara on April 2, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I’m always amazed at how well taking a leap of faith turns out. My job situation moved from “bad” to “abusive” before I could secure another job. I closed my eyes and jumped. It’s been less than month, and by the end of this week, I will have officially secured not only a job but a career. Sometimes you have to take a risk to gain a reward!



    • Sage on April 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      That’s fantastic, Cara! I’m so glad you were able to get out of an abusive job and end up in a much better situation. And to do it in less than a month is really amazing. I hope you do something fun to celebrate your success.



  6. xvavaveganx on April 2, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Sage, what an amazing story! I love it and it definitely shows a lot about your character 🙂 I am definitely in need of this advice, because there is a leap of faith I should have taken for years (re: the whole job situation – moving plans have changed) but it freaks me out. Just applying for jobs is really daunting and overwhelming, but the truth is my life really does depend on it. This is really inspirational, thank you!



    • Sage on April 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      Haha, I was a fiesty little kid! Thanks for the nice comment. I think we all have stories like this in our lives, when we knew we were capable of so much more. It doesn’t matter that you feel like you should have taken that leap years ago (believe me, I’ve procrastinated a lot in my life). The important thing is that you TAKE IT…whenever that may be. Your life’s not over yet. In fact, it sounds like a new chapter is just about ready to start.