Karen Mangia facing her fears and ziplining in the trees.

How to Unlock Your Powerful Potential

A Hands-On Guide To Realize Your Big Dreams, Big Goals

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

This year I resolved to try three new experiences that scare me. Which seemed like a grand idea after a glass of New Year’s Eve champagne over an intimate dialog with friends. And like a far less grand idea when those same friends started innocently inquiring about my progress months later.

Fear of failure is a miraculous motivator.

With each passing day, I probed deeper into the fears I was willing to face. Week of silence? No. Swim with the sharks? Absolutely no. Crawl through a dark cave? Not for all the money in the world.

My do or “die” moment materialized in the midst of a relaxing vacation. Sneaking up on me unexpectedly like middle aged weight gain. I nearly spit out my muffin when confronted with the simple question, “Will you go zip lining with me?”

<Insert longest pause of my life.>

Suddenly years of zipping mindlessly through my calendar and my life blurred into an ironic haze as I pictured traversing the jungle at top speed, tethered only to Planet Earth by a single suspension chord.

How often do you stay grounded to avoid the fear of flying high?

My heart beat so loudly as I climbed that first tower I could have simultaneously played lead percussionist in a rock band. I thought back to the liability release wavier presented so nonchalantly at the entry gate. I recalled every bite of my last meal as if Food & Wine magazine would posthumously feature it in a cover story.

Fear fades when encouragement enters.

As I nervously crept toward the edge of the rickety, wooden platform, I took one last pause. Then gripped the cable with the strength of an Ironman triathlete. Desperately trying to summon the courage I lacked.

I know it’s scary that you can’t see where you’re going next,” the expert guide offered, sensing my concern. “What’s waiting for you on the other side is worth taking the leap. You can do this.

Have you ever noticed the power of just one voice?

One voice of encouragement can silence your inner critic. Amplify your courage. And support you in making your next big leap.

Whether your dream is to scale a mountain or to climb a career ladder, what’s holding you back? Do you have a clear line of sight to where you’re going next? And how well prepared are you to take your next leap?

Just like I needed encouragement to leave the comforts of the zip line platform, you, too, may need encouragement to move toward your big dreams and big goals. That’s why I created the Dare to Dream worksheet. To provide you with resources beyond “Success With Less” to help you:

  • Ponder your top goal
  • Build an achievable plan to realize your goal
  • Prioritize time and resources required to realize your goal
  • Remove barriers to your success
  • Engage others to help and encourage you
  • Realize dreams deferred

In the words of my expert mountain guide, “What’s waiting for you on the other side is worth taking the leap. You can do this.

The question is — are you prepared to soar?

This post first appeared on Medium.

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