Well, it happened again. It seems to happen at least once a week, yet it always surprises me. Three months ago I was offended by it. I felt threatened. I worried that I had done something wrong. So many people were asking me this one question and I was certain that the entire world was right and I was the one, the only one, who couldn’t see what everyone else could so clearly see. While the surprise of the question hasn’t changed, my response to it certainly has evolved.
Let me explain.
I came home this afternoon after running some errands. As I walked to my front door my phone started blowing up with funny texts from a good friend. Instead of going inside I sat down on my patio, propped my feet up on my table and laughed out loud as we continued this text conversation. A few minutes later my next-door neighbor, who has been gone all summer, walked up our shared sidewalk. This was the first time I had seen her since May. She stopped at my gate and I asked her about her summer away with her grandson. After filling me in she asked, “How’s your team doing?” I shared with her that I had resigned from college coaching and started my own business. (Her face dropped.) I explained that I was now doing the part of coaching that I loved that most. (She didn’t move.) That every day was focused on developing better people and better leaders. (She didn’t blink.) I shared with her that I am now working with high school and college teams as well as corporate groups and that I am really enjoying it. (She was now turning pale.) I was excited to tell her that I’ve written some leadership development curriculum and I’ve been working hard to create an online version as well. (Now I wasn’t sure she was even breathing.) I finished all this with a smile and she blankly asked, “But isn’t that scary?”
With my feet still propped up on the table and a huge grin on my face, I simply replied, “Yeah, yeah it is!” And she walked off like she had seen a ghost ….
Once she was inside and I heard her front door close I said just loud enough to be obnoxious, but not loud enough to be heard, “We can do scary things you know?!”
The reality is I didn’t wrestle a grizzly bear and survive to tell my story. I didn’t do an emergency landing of a commercial airplane. I didn’t fight a life threaten illness.
I changed careers. I followed my heart. And yes, that is scary, but it isn’t crazy.
So much of the good in life is out there just beyond our self-imposed boundaries. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate your boundaries… ’cause we can do scary things… we really can.