Every day I step out on to the streets on Manchester for some exercise. City Centre life during lockdown is very strange. The once busy streets are virtually empty of people. It’s wonderful – without the distraction of people and noise of the traffic the seemingly dead City comes alive. Buildings you never noticed. Alleys to explore. Street art appearing and disappearing.

The other week I came across some street art. Angel wings. “What if I fall? Oh by my darling, what if you fly?”

It got me thinking about what it’s trying to say.

Was it trying to say if we are too fearful to try something, then we could be missing out on a opportunity? I think so, but I also believe that the sentiment is somewhat misleading and dangerous. Why?

We’re never actually going to grow wings and be able to jump of a cliff-edge. Maybe the closest we can get to that is paragliding. But even then, who would just decide one morning to do this? With no training? With not support? Not checking the glider?

I also think, that you don’t actually need to jump off a cliff edge and hope to fly – you could probably flap your wings and get some lift from ground level. No need to risk falling to your death – in fact no risk at all.

I came to the conclusion on my walk that day, that I wasn’t going to follow the silly street art’s advice – but also that my risk appetite was probably quiet small.

I then reflected – that actually my risk appetite was actually pretty big. I’ve done and achieved many things in my life. And that many times in my personal life and work I’d stood on that cliff edge – and it wasn’t someone else telling I could fly, but my inner voice. My own power and commitment to succeed,

I’m happy to stand a on a cliff-edge, but ONLY after I’ve put in the work. I learned how to control those wings, learned from other people’s experiences, researched the options, flexed my wings… and then and only then will I leap into the abyss below and without question I will fly, not only fly but soar above everything.

Nobody who patronisingly calls me ‘darling’ is going to tell me what to do – I’m going to do it anyway, the right way. Flying higher, flying faster, and flying further than they would ever think possible.