Testing the Waters with Both Feet

1445490_31979296I want to talk a little bit about launching things. Because we all launch things all the time. You might not think about it that way but you do. For sure some people launch businesses, new enterprises, or new ventures in their careers. But “launching” applies to so much more than just entrepreneurs. You might be launching a small group, a ministry, or what about a new plan for your life. What about a plan to potty train your kids? What about teaching yourself a new skill, or leading in your kids’ sports teams?

These are all simple but real examples of launching something. Whenever we take a new step we are launching something. But I’ve learned a lot from a little African Proverb that helps us when we launch something. It’s this:

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

And isn’t that true?

What I love about this proverb is that it reminds us of two things.

First, this proverb reminds us to try new things. Change is a part of life, we should be launching things, trying new things, jumping into new waters. Why not try a new business, why not build a new team, why not try something new with your kids? This stuff matters and we shouldn’t let fear tell us to just stay put.

But the second thing this little proverb reminds us of is to be wise. To test the waters with one foot before launching with two feet. All it’s saying is that if you are able to try something, to test it small scale, to get your hands dirty before cutting your safety net – why not test and try? I’m all for audacious crazy big goals. We should be launching, reaching, and trying new things. But all this little proverb reminds us is that there is a difference between being courageous and also well…silly or stupid.

So what are you maybe pondering or dreaming about starting? Is there a way to test the waters, and get going?

Here is the brilliance of the proverb. Most of us don’t actually have problems with jumping in with both feet because we don’t ever jump into new waters at all. But if you test the water a bit, try it out, it might just give you enough courage to jump…

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