Close your eyes and hold your breath and always trust your cape. -Kathy Mattea

Remember when you were a little kid, standing at the top of the playground slide? It looked like you were 100 feet off the ground. When you were a little older you felt the same way looking down from the high dive. Remember the heart pounding-palms sweating-stomach flipping-I'm going to die feeling? If you bit the bullet and pushed off down the slide or stepped off the diving board you also remember the total euphoria of the "I did it!" moment. If you couldn't quite summon the courage and ended up climbing slowly back down the ladder of either the slide or the diving board you probably look back on that moment and think, "I wish I would have..."

Those moments come to us as adults, too. It's amazing how large a new challenge can loom in front of us. Trying something we've never done before can feel just as terrifying as stepping off the high dive for the first time. Unfortunately, adults don't usually have the peer pressure we need to help us take that step. That's right, I said unfortunately! Peer pressure has a bad reputation, and often it's deserved. Often, but not always. A group of friends in the pool, so far below cheering, "come on, we know you can do it!" is often just the nudge we need to help us overcome our fear of the unknown.

As women we also need at least one cheerleader in our lives. Several is even better. If you don't think you have any cheerleaders in your life, think again. Often there are people around us who are positive and encouraging and would love to give us a boost when we need it, but the trouble is, if we don't share our dreams with them, they don't know how to encourage us! Think of the person that you know that is just a natural born encourager and be brave! Share your idea with them and come right out and say that you could stand to borrow a little of their courage. Bet you'll be surprised how willing they are to boost you up!

Now, be careful. Sadly, not everyone is a natural born cheerleader. Some people let their own fear of the unknown come out as doom and gloom predictions about anything new you might want to try. If you have one of these people in your life, see them as a blessing, too! They may point out some real obstacles that you may have to overcome. Seek the good advice that lays buried in their negative attitude, but don't let them kill your own optimism. Find solutions to the roadblocks they present, and you'll just be that much more likely to succeed.