When I was 5 years old, I remember being afraid to go up to the counter at Chickfila and exchange my kids book for a vanilla soft-serve ice-cream cone. It’s the first thing I can consciously rememeber being afraid of. I didn’t want to be alone, I didn’t want to do something wrong, and I certainly didn’t want this to set a precedent with my parents — after all, being 5 years old had a lot of perks, and not being responsible for myself was largely one of them.
I remember my mom saying to me, “they’re just a person, just like you or me, and the worst thing they can say to you is no.”
Well damn, when you put it like that mom.
But she was right — not just in what she was saying to me — but in knowing exactly what I needed to hear at that particular moment in time as I found my kid self at the crossroads of a very scary decision. Somehow knowing that the only two possible outcomes of this venture were the person at the register either saying ‘yes,’ and rewarding me with my treat, or saying ‘no,’ and leaving me empty handed. Suddenly, it became a risk I was willing to take — I could handle not getting an ice-cream if that was the worst possible thing to come from it, I thought.
Spoiler alert: I got my ice-cream.
When I think back on the moments throughout my life that felt very scary at first, only to give way to a plethora of positive outcomes, shortly thereafter, I am reminded that what might look formidable and fear-inducing as it approaches, all too often takes on a softer, non-threatening appearance through the rear-view mirror of hindsight. In other words, I’m no longer afraid of going to the counter all by myself, nor of the 1000’s of other things the once made my heart speed up, my palms sweat and my voice start to tremble at the thought.
I once had it explained to me that everything you currently have in life, whether its your job, your house, or the friendships you currently maintain are inside of your comfort zone. Logically, then, it follows that everything you want but don’t currently have, exists in the space outside of that zone. With a basic math equation, it becomes clear that in order to attain the things you want…