I fly fairly frequently, and I've noticed something shocking: when planes are prone to turbulence, people get pretty worried. Now turbulence is a common thing, but that doesn't make it any less scary for the people that are untrusting of the science of aviation. For me flying is a lot like a roller coaster. If I can trust in the engineering, the science, and the quality assurance process that goes in to making the equipment, I can sit back, relax, and really enjoy every jump, dip, drop and twist that comes about. It's like driving over a hill really fast in your car. It's thrilling.
But as soon as I start doubting that engineering and the safety of the process, I'm screwed. It becomes agony. Every piece of turbulence is confirmation that I am going to die very soon in a fiery conflagration.
No amount of checking my seatbelt, looking at every screw on the plane as I board it, and ensuring the overhead bins are properly secured is going to give me the reassurance. Because turbulence happens when you fly.
You see, I've got this thing with trust. I don't trust that things will work out. I don't trust that people will come through and support me. I don't trust that I'm going to succeed at the things I put my mind to. It's what had me choosing everything, and it's what has me putting my schedule and my work-life balance at the effect of everyone else.
When we don't have trust - when trust is the barrier we put in front of everything we want - it all becomes so difficult. I can't provide people with the times I'm free and trust that those will be filled - I have to accommodate everyone. I can't trust that things will work out, one way or another - I have to spend all of my spare time managing the balls in the air to ensure that stuff actually does get done.
High performers: I'm talking to you. Why do you think you started putting so much emphasis on your performance in the first place?
For me, it was a fear that if I didn't perform, I would fail. If I didn't perform, I wouldn't succeed and get everything I wanted in life. As I grew older, I continually found and catalogued evidence in support of this fact. I never bothered looking for evidence that the opposite was true, and when it did stand up and slap me in the face, I came up with explanations for why that evidence wasn't as compelling as the evidence about my lack of trust being necessary.
[Tweet "You will never be able to outperform your own lack of trust."]
You will never be able to perform enough to overcome a lack of trust. Without any faith, belief or trust in the way things will go, you will forever be trying to create certainty in an uncertain world.
Turbulence happens while flying. Many of us have learned to try to control it by performing, but it's all for naught if we can't trust in the process. If you want to fly, either geographically, or in your life - you've got to learn to trust the process and enjoy the turbulence.
Take a breath, spread your arms, and let yourself go. Trust in the process and enjoy the turbulence for what it is - a reminder that you're flying.
What don't you trust about the world? If you stop performing, what will the consequences be? How would your life be different if you knew that everything would work out?