You Can’t Fly into Learning to Fly

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

This month I celebrated my birthday. Nothing remarkable about that. It’s done every day by someone, somewhere.

What makes this birthday special and worth noting is a present I received. You can see it in the photo. At first glance, you may not think it’s remarkable either.

But it is to me. It will be a lifetime treasure because it was given to me by a client.

On the inside of the birdcage is a note that says:

Dear Sue: Thank you for teaching me to fly.

I will keep it in a special spot in my office as a reminder that what I do makes a difference. Sometimes I need that reminder, especially on challenging days.

When I read her note, my first thought was that I did not teach my client to fly. I cannot do that.

What I could do was remind her that she knew how to fly all along. She just forgot that she knew.

It’s easy to forget that you already know how to fly. It’s easy to forget that flying is a gift you were born with. But if you want to have the rich and fulfilling career and life you deserve, you must task yourself with learning to fly all over again.

Yes, learning to fly again can feel awkward and scary.

No, you probably won’t do it with elegance and grace the very first time you try.

Have you ever watched birds when they are learning to fly? They don’t just leap off a branch one day and soar off into the sky, do they?

They start by testing their wings. They watch their parents. Sometimes they take the leap and flop to the ground. Hard.

No matter how well things start out when you are learning to fly, you might end up hitting the rocks. That can be embarrassing. At worst, you could die. What’s most likely is that you will collect a few bumps and bruises.

This is where you might stop. You tell yourself you don’t want to experience that pain or embarrassment ever again. But you were born to fly. Each time you don’t allow yourself to do it, another little piece of your aliveness dies.

It’s never too late to learn how to fly. As long as you have breath in your body, you have the ability to take the leap.

If now is your time to fly, will you be like the brave little bird in this video?

  • Are you willing to be a fledgling – an awkward beginner?
  • Are you willing to take a leap of faith?
  • If you hit the rocks, are you willing to shake it off?
  • Are you willing to keep at it until you master flying?
  • Are you surrounded by people who will stand by you and support you if you hit the rocks?

In the process of learning to fly, my client has begun to see who she is and what she is capable of accomplishing. She is learning to own and celebrate her accomplishments. She now has the confidence to soar even higher as she designs her “Sexy Second Act” life and career.

Do you have a story about learning to fly? Share in the comments. Who in your world could benefit from reading this article? Please feel free to forward it. You could be perfect person to encourage someone to fly.