A few weeks ago, a mama bird set up shop on one of the lights in my backyard. My family watched as she built a nest, laid eggs, and then waited.
And waited some more.
And finally, four baby birds arrived on the scene.
We watched as both the mama and the papa spent all day flying back and forth, feeding their babies (and discovering fun facts like baby birds poop out "fecal sacks").
One afternoon, I witnessed the first baby bird take its first tentative flight out of the nest. I'm not gonna lie, I gasped as I watched it plummet to the ground.
But it got up, tried to fly some more, fell again and finally flew away.
(I also learned that I would be a terrible helicopter bird parent.)
The next day, two more of the birds flew the coop.
And then there was one left. We watched it stretch out its wings...and then get right back into the nest. It groomed itself excessively. It was probably the cleanest baby robin in town.
The next morning, it stood at the edge of the nest. We waited.
It kept standing at the edge of the nest.
We waited some more.
We finally had to go to work. By the time I got back, the baby bird was gone. It had summoned the courage to take the leap.
That final bird reminded me of how anxiety can run our life. We watch others do what we really want to do, but hold back due to fear. We let perfectionism run the show and we groom and prepare, and get ready and fluff our feathers and procrastinate some more.
We stand at the edge and will ourselves to take the leap. Sometimes we decide that it's just easier to get back in the nest and stay in our comfort zone.
And sometimes we leap.
Sometimes we apply for that amazing job that we don't feel qualified for.
We sign up for the adult ballet class even though we haven't danced in years.
We have the uncomfortable conversation with our partner that we've been avoiding.
What do you need to do but are scared to take the leap?