Some of the best lessons I’ve learned in life have come from my toughest times. It’s a hard but true fact of life. I don’t need some author’s quote to convince people that the familiar is the preferred route most people take. And why wouldn’t they? The familiar is safe, it’s easy, it’s… familiar. We are naturally more confident when handling an issue or problem we’ve faced before, solved before. Those are the occasions where we can readily shout “I got this!”
But what about the unknown? What about when someone comes to you looking for help and it’s a task or problem you have never dealt with before? If you’re like me, you might fill with panic initially. You might feel inadequate or completely lost. What if I make a mistake? What if I look foolish? And you might. I still get that way and doubt that feeling ever really disappears for most of us, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s just an opportunity to expand the “familiar” into areas you previously considered out of bounds. I know this all sounds easier said than done, but it’s really that simple. It’s just showing up. If you can say “yes” and show up to the occasions, the battle is already half won. Even if you fail miserably, you know more afterwards than you did before. You get that all important reminder we constantly need: “it didn’t kill you”.
Essentially, it isn’t so much about grabbing a sword and shield to go find dragons to slay, but merely just saying “yes” to challenging opportunities when they present themselves. Saying “yes” to join in on a tough call, help on a special project, or making time to research an area you might even actively avoid. Nobody wants to get on the phone with someone who is frustrated or discuss a topic at length they may only know a little about, but the reality is that’s how we get our “gains”. That’s how we get stronger, smarter, better than we were the day before.
I would be wary of anyone who didn’t have a tinge of fear facing the unknown. You’d have to be crazy, stupid, or a liar to claim otherwise. A million outcomes play out in our heads, but we can remind ourselves that challenges will ultimately serve us well however unpleasant they may seem at the time. Anyone reading this has probably faced a problem in life they didn’t think they’d get through at the time, but if you’re reading this now it obviously didn’t get the best of you. Try to recognize that loud apprehensive voice telling you to be quiet the next time opportunity asks you to stand up and meet a challenge. Drown it out and say “yeah, I got this”.
Colby W. is a Customer Success Advocate who still prefers the radio over television and has never met a dog he didn’t like.