Gimme an 'L' ~ The LEAP Principle
We’re all experiencing hesitancy these days—hesitancy to go out, to participate in person, to meet people, to gather, to eat indoors, to hug or even shake hands. Elbow bumps? Yuck! Yet even as it reigns, and guides so many of our decisions, hesitancy is actually an important part of learning to take a leap in life. Which makes this the perfect time to introduce you to the first LIPSTICK Football principle—LEAP.
In my new book, LIPSTICK FOOTBALL: 8 Game-Changing Principles to Bust Through Limitations and Achieve the Impossible While Learning the Game of Football, I use the word LIPSTICK as an acronym for eight principles—Leap, Immerse, Play, Shine, Track, Initiate, Condition, Kick. I developed these principles from playing professional women’s football, being a general manager and a life long fan of the game. But you don’t have to know football, or be a fan, to benefit from the set of principles I’ve developed from the game.
Before I dive into the first LIPSTICK principle, can you answer this—what do you gain from following a clear set of principles? Psychologists say... a lot! Principles identify priorities and beliefs, which give you a code of conduct to follow. It’s like having your own personal road signs that guide your choices and actions as you move toward your destination—whether that's in a work environment, on a personal project or on a football field.
Exercising clearly defined principles is like front loading your decision-making process.
As you make choices that align with a principle, you spend less time worrying about whether or not you're doing the right thing. You enjoy more confidence and peace of mind—and have a better chance of feeling fulfilled. The truth is, most people don’t take the time to carve out a set of principles to live by. It’s not that they aren’t principled people. But it takes focus and determination.
LIPSTICK FOOTBALL PRINCIPLES
That’s why I created the eight LIPSTICK Football principles. Remembering to use them is as easy as remembering to tuck a tube of lipstick or lip balm in your purse or pocket before you walk out the door. You can take these principles with you wherever you go and apply them whenever you need them.
Utilizing the LIPSTICK Football principles can guide you, lift you up and inspire you.
As a set, they give you the comprehensive support, direction and motivation you need to score on your own playing field. They can remind you to focus on what's important as you keep moving your dream down field toward the end zone.
THE LEAP PRINCIPLE
The principles can be used in any order, but it’s helpful to get to know them from first to last, from L to K, from LEAP to KICK. Let’s start with LEAP. Like the other seven LIPSTICK principles, LEAP is an action verb and will require you to take action. Leaping into action is bold. It’s definitive. Powerful. It has to be. A leap puts your intentions into motion signaling you’ve found something you really want. Something that requires more than observing from a distance. Something that requires stepping out on the platform or up to the line and putting your life into action, or action into your life. When you leap, you send a Tarzan-like cry to the Universe, “I'm coming, ahh-ahh-ahh.”
Leaping is a bold act of communication—both external and internal—to the world and to yourself.
Imagine this. You're a diver at a swim meet, poised on the edge of the platform. You're still, motionless, calm—visualizing what will unfold in the next moment. In an instant, you dive from the edge into the pool below. Or you're at the starting line of a race, in “set” position—knees bent, one foot forward, fingers and hands spread out for support. You wait—still, motionless, calm. The race gun fires, and you spring into full sprint toward the finish line. Or you're on a football field. Two teams line up facing each other. Each waits to explode into action with a clear focus on their goal. Blue—42—Hike!
CALM BEFORE THE LEAP
When you take a closer look at the LEAP Principle, you see that Leaping is often thought of as the singular act of jumping off, moving forward or taking action toward a goal. But leaping is really two things. It’s jumping off, for sure. There’s no leaping if there’s no action towards something. Yet the moment of calm before the leap—whether for a diver, a runner, a football player or you—is equally powerful. It’s the necessary prelude to right action—an action that will yield a positive and productive result.
That hesitancy, that moment of calm before a leap, may not be long, yet it has the potential to redirect you. It could be a turning point—not just in this moment but in your life.
This is where watching a little football can come be useful to see the principle acted out in real time. In football, when two teams line up on the field opposite each other at the line of scrimmage, there is a moment of stillness before any action takes place. In fact, a team can be penalized if a player jumps into action or over that imaginary line before the offense initiates the play. So even in football, there is planned hesitancy so the team can align their play for maximum benefit moving forward. If football is new to you, no worries. My book has you covered and can be used as a primer for game basics.
THE EDGE OF ACTION
Just as you can watch a football team LEAP into action, you’ll always see the external expression of your leap, as will anyone watching you. But it’s important to ask yourself what brought you to the edge of action. Did you hear an inner voice whisper a thought—maybe something creative to do or achieve? Something to learn or become? Was there a hint of a new dream that could take flight? Or maybe a decision to reconsider before taking the next step? These hints are special gifts. We should never toss them aside as irrelevant or assume they would come to anyone else in that moment. If you heard it, the message was personal and most definitely meant for you.
Your intuition, your inner voice, is where the seeds of your dream lie. Your job is to pause at the "edge of action" and listen for the internal cues, then follow their lead.
If you don’t listen for the mental knock at your heart’s door, you might miss out on opportunities to align with your dream. And the world would miss out on you and your gifts.
FALL OR FLY?
Here’s the kicker. Once you LEAP, one of two things will happen—you will either fall or fly. When you leap and fall, it's usually because defensive obstacles emerge, STOP signs show up out of nowhere. Old personal programming you thought was long resolved taunts you. “You can't do this.” “What are you thinking?” “Who do you think you are?” These stumbling blocks can derail the most brave hearted.
When you leap and fly, you soar and feel the wind beneath your wings. Your energies align, as though an “Open” sign is hanging on your heart's front door. In life, that might mean bumping into a person who can be helpful to you. It’s seeing your efforts line up efficiently without stops or detours. In football, it’s a runner breaking through the defensive line or a wide receiver running down field and leaping into the air to make the perfect catch.
FLY MORE ~ FALL LESS
How do you fly more and fall less? Here’s how. Anticipate that your action, no matter how small, might just be powerful enough to cause a reaction. “What, me?” Yes, you! You have power. Anticipate that when you use it, there will be a reaction. Yet when you stand tall and call out that reaction for what it is—a pesky obstacle—the Universe will get a pretty good idea of how much heart you have for realizing your dream. And it will back you up 100% by clearing the playing field—or at least a path—so you can fly to the end zone.
YOU GOTTA HAVE HEART
Do you have the heart to take a LEAP? Every goal, endeavor or person worth investing in requires a leap. Call it a leap of faith, if you want. Whether it's braving the vulnerabilities of a new relationship, going after a potential job opportunity, or trying your hand at a creative endeavor.
What you will find when you leap is that you will both fall and fly. That's how you learn and grow.
So, look for those moments of hesitancy. Listen to that inner voice whispering a desire, a consideration, a concern. What is it saying? Listen, then LEAP. When you acknowledge the value of those internal signals, taking a LEAP of action will be as easy as applying lipstick!