I recently expanded my coaching business to help people produce clear and persuasive writings with professional editing and proofreading services. (Professional Editing and Proofreading Services) I was recently editing the client’s work wherein she talked about a very familiar story. She explained the significance of the story in such a way that I jumped out of my chair and experienced a huge, A-HA, WOW moment! I was so excited! She raised a point in the story that I knew but for some reason, didn’t fully realize. The magnitude of that point just overwhelmed me. You are probably asking, “What was the story?” Here it is:
One day, Jesus was hanging out with his disciples preaching and healing people, which was normal for him. At the end of the day, Jesus told his disciples to get in a boat and meet him on the other side of the sea. About three in the morning, the disciples were in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, they saw something coming toward them on the water and they were afraid. They thought it was a ghost. So Jesus called out to them telling them to relax because the something wasn’t a ghost; it was he. Peter looks over to Jesus and says, “Jesus, can I come over there where you are?” Jesus says, “Sure!” Peter gets out of the boat and starts walking on water to get to where Jesus is outside of the boat. However, when Peter stops looking at Jesus and notices the loud wind and the waves, he begins to sink. He yells out, “Help me, Jesus!” Jesus reaches down and pulls him out of the water saying, “I got you. Everything’s okay.” (see Matthew 14:22-33).
Okay, I took some liberties in telling this story. Nevertheless, the point of this story that made me jump out of my chair was the fact that Jesus with already outside of the boat when he told Peter it was okay to get outside of the boat.
In life, we are all in a boat. The boat represents our comfort zone. Where are you are now in life, the job you hold, the clothes you wear, the neighborhood you live in, the books you read, the people you associate with, they are all part of your comfort zone. Everything is nice and cozy in your comfort zone.
Then, one day you meet a person who is willing to teach you how to live a different and better life or you come across a chance to do something different and better in your life. You ask yourself, “Can I go to this different and better place?” Your inner voice says, “Sure!” You decide to go for it. You step out of your comfort zone. You step out of the boat. You start “walking on water” and it feels right and good for you. Everything is going fine as you follow the person’s coaching or do the things necessary for your new chance. Then you start hearing things like “Why are you doing that?” or “Who you think you are?” or “Everyone in our family has always work in construction” or “No one in our family has ever gone to college and we’ve been just fine” or “Why do you want to move into that neighborhood?” or “You think you’re better than the rest of us” or “Why are you starting a business? Isn’t a job good enough for you?”
You start noticing the waves. But the person coaching you encourages you to keep going or you see the right results from doing the things necessary for your new chance. And you see changes, good changes, happening in your life; changes you wanted. The sneers of people you know, some you love, get louder. The waves get choppier and the wind gets louder. You wonder whether you can get to that different and better place. You wonder about your “walk on water.” The questions you must answer are these: are the sneers coming from people inside the boat or are they coming from people already outside of the boat? Are the sneers coming from people in the comfort zone who have no intention of leaving the comfort zone or from people who are already outside the boat? Who can get you to the different and better place you’re reaching for – the people in the boat or the people already outside the boat? Who is the best source of support and guidance for you – the people in the boat or the people already outside the boat?
Let’s face it. The people inside the boat know nothing about the outside of the boat. Therefore, listening to them about matters outside of the boat doesn’t make sense. Only people or chances already outside the boat know about matters outside of the boat. You should listen to them. You got out of the boat. Now stay out!