You Don’t Have to Jump Off Cliffs or Build Your Wings on the Way Down

In the popular metaphor, nobody -ever- talks about what happens if you jump off a cliff, break your back get absolutely terrified of jumping and never ever do it again.

In the spirit of making progress on truly life changing topics, how is getting injured and massively discouraged ever a good thing?

So I believe there is a good alternative, especially for Highly Sensitive People.

Hand drawn illustration of Highly Sensitive Person about to fall off a cliff looking scaredYou see, I am sure there are people for whom jumping is the best step. Somehow, they do it and they are fine. They get focused as they are falling, and they work well in a crisis.

Then there are those of us who get so panicked that we can’t think straight. Even something that should have been a mildly inconvenient jump can turn into a situation where you end up landing belly-flat on water and can barely breathe for the next 30 minutes (slight exaggeration of a true story).

So instead of climbing the highest cliff possible and then jumping off to get all that must be done over with a.s.a.p. I think it makes more sense to consider your Ideal Jumping Focus Zone. And yes, I totally made that up.


Figure out your Ideal Jumping Focus Zone


Your IJFZ is the level of challenge that is difficult enough to challenge you and make you prioritise what you are doing, but it’s also easy-peasy enough that you don’t freak out. In yoga, you’d call it your comfortable edge. You need it to be enough of a challenge, otherwise, you’ll put it at the bottom of your to-do list or let your mind wander out of boredom. Yet it also needs to be easy enough that you have all your wits about you.

Also, no point overstretching and not being able to walk the next day.

So your Ideal Jumping Focus Zone is a mini-jump. It’s high enough that jumping down would mean noticeable progress. If you need to pull out your ruler to measure if you jumped at all, then the jump wouldn’t be worthy enough to even land on your to-do list at all. What’s the point of jumping 0.03 millimeters, right?

Also, chances are, if your jump was so incredibly tiny, your mind would wander to shopping lists and where that one purple sock disappeared to that you haven’t seen for weeks. You wouldn’t actually be focused on the jump at all.

Your Ideal Jumping Focus Zone covers a distance that makes you perk up. You know you can do this, and you also know you need to focus. You’re not worried, but you are excited.

You’re aiming to land safely on two feet but if you do fall, you won’t really hurt yourself because it’s not that high up. You may even be jumping down onto a padded mattress.


Finding your Comfortable Cliff


So in other – yoga – words, you want to find a cliff edge that – when you look down – still makes you feel comfortable like you’re literally standing on your comfortable edge.

When you jump down a height like that, you can make rapid progress:

  • You don’t procrastinate at the edge, worried you will die.
  • After you’ve made the first jump, you need practically no recovery time, so you can make the next jump soon after.
  • If something goes wrong, you might need a time-out, but it won’t be a time-out for life. Chances are, you’ll be ready to try again in a week or so, with a fresh approach.


As a Highly Sensitive Person, it’s important to honour your inherent sense of thinking before acting.

You’re good at pausing to check the implications of a plan before you move forward. You can use your thinking to beat yourself up for not wanting to jump off cliffs, or you can use it to plan a more doable descent.

In addition, as an HSP it’s crucial to avoid overstimulation.

Any height that is “too much to handle” in this way will make you less efficient: you won’t build your wings on the way down, instead you’ll just worry, grab onto the first tree root you see, and then wear yourself out hanging from the cliff side for weeks (yes, you are that strong).

What is your Ideal Jumping Focus Zone?


How much of a challenge gets you focused and moving forward, and what is too much? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, you can find those in between jumps that are just right for you.

If you’d like some help figuring out how to define your own perfect jumps, you’re welcome to set up a call with me so we can talk it through.



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