Skiing at Vail last week I found myself holding back and being tentative. On my first run of the day, I had ventured off the groomed snow into some deep powder and immediately fell. It took me several minutes to get back up as my left ski was buried. Digging my ski out, I vowed to stay away from the powder for the rest of the day. Preoccupied with worry that I might fall again, I felt tense and didn’t enjoy myself.

Yesterday while skiing at Loveland, I encountered fresh powder again. This time I decided to go for it and ski the powder. I repeatedly told myself, “You can do this! You can do this!” With a positive frame of mind, I was able to relax more and let go of control. Skiing fresh tracks, I experienced the sensation of being carried by the snow, as if I was floating. The difference in my experience from the previous week was tangible…I had much more fun!

Reflecting on this experience, I wondered how often we hold ourselves back in life because we have been hurt before. Perhaps, we vow never to get married again or shun off romantic relationships all together because we don’t want to be vulnerable. We hold ourselves back in our creative endeavors because we don’t want others to judge them unworthy. Or, maybe we allow ourselves to engage, but because of our fear, we tense up and don’t enjoy life.

When we are able to let go of control, relax and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and take risks, the world opens up to us in amazing ways. New opportunities present themselves. Passion, joy and inspiration become our daily experience and we feel like we are living up to our fullest potential.