Still reeling from the loss of my beloved father a year earlier and weighted down by the constant heartache of my mother’s Alzheimer’s, I was deeply missing the support system that had always kept me feeling grounded and secure.
My business was requiring that I show up in a strength and visibility with which I, an introvert, was entirely unfamiliar and very uncomfortable.
Could I really step out of my comfort zone and face the fears of up-levelling my business?
Was this the right time or did I need more experience or education?
Was I looking for an excuse to hide and not try?
Who would lose if I stayed small?
As I walked, I vaguely registered the people and dogs sharing the path, occasionally giving them a quick half-smile as we’d pass, thankful that friendly chit-chat is almost non-existent in the confines of big city borders.
Approaching from the other direction, two men were running side-by-side. I glanced up at them amid my thoughts. As my gaze was about to return to the ground, something odd caught my eye.
The men seemed to have a length of yellow tape, similar to police tape, draped across the forearm closest to each other. Just one piece of tape, shared between them. I glanced away, then looked back, confused as to why they would have police tape in the first place and why it was just resting on their forearms and not held in one of their hands.
My senses perked to alert mode. They were dressed in lycra running gear and seemed to be talking casually as they ran, not looking like escaped convicts who’d just broken through a barricade so did I need to worry or not?
As they neared, I was able to get a better look at the tape. It was actually a loop of florescent ribbon with nothing written on it. Each man had an arm through the loop, sort of joining them, yet the loop hung loosely. “That’s strange”, I thought, then I looked up at their faces.
At the last moment, I noticed that the man on the outside of the path was blind; his eyes closed tightly, unable to register light or shadow, person or pet, edge or obstacle.
The sheer courage of the blind man struck me. This was obviously not his first time out running based on his confidence, stride and attire. Were it not for the yellow loop, I would have barely acknowledged their presence other than ‘two men running’ and would have walked past them without care or concern, deep in my own world.
Still, the yellow loop puzzled me. What was its purpose? It was merely hanging between them. Why did they have it?
I then surmised it must actually serve a few purposes. Should the blind man begin to veer off course, the loop would tighten allowing him to course correct without his friend’s assistance. It also kept the two men on equal pace. The brightness of the colour alerted the sighted world, silently asking to give him leeway and not expect the two to separate and allow passage between them. Perhaps it gave the blind man some added confidence to tackle this task in the first place, knowing he could run a trail unaided yet still feel secure. And the conversation between them no doubt acted as a beacon and warning system of any dangers that lay ahead such as the three busy roads that intersect the route.
The blind man gave me a gift that day. He gave me the gift of sight. Through him, I was able to see what was possible for me if I had the courage to try.
I realized that I too had a florescent yellow loop; my own safety system in the form of my friends, family and colleagues. While my parents were no longer part of that loop, I still had others on my team. Their support allows me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and try something new because I trust they will help keep me on track when I feel myself on unfamiliar ground.
The reason we resist or stop ourselves from stepping out of our comfort zone is because of fear and unfamiliarity.
The reason we even consider stepping out of our comfort zone is because we know we have more to offer and a part of us knows that we are ready and able.
It just takes that first step. And blind faith.
The world needs what you have to offer. I’d love to be a part of your loop and help you succeed by aligning your message with your mission so you can make an even greater difference. Contact me here.
How have you conquered your fears when up-levelling your business?
What were the results you experienced because you took a chance?
Share below. I’d love to know.