Have you ever wanted to jump out of an airplane? Maybe do a through hike? Ask out your office crush for a real date that goes beyond the 5 minutes chat at the water dispenser every day? Maybe you wanted to take a sabbatical to finally go to Nepal? Or what about this book you’ve been meaning to write? Why not taking credit for your implemented improvements in the company you work for and speak up in the next meeting? Or have you ever tried the restaurant next to the one you usually go to? And what about your coffee choice? Why always the same? Why not a something geeky like a beetroot turmeric latte? Wow! You can grab your flat white again tomorrow. Why not?
I agree, ‘Why not?’ is a very small and simple question. However, it’s damn powerful one, don’t you think? I mean, ask yourself; why are you sometimes holding back from trying and doing the things that make you feel excited and alive? Why would you not try something new, something a bit weird, something out of character, something that increases your heart rate?
Is it because you're afraid? Is it because it's risky? I get it. Maybe the parachute won't open, maybe the hike will be too hard, maybe you'll get rejected by your office crush; maybe the sabbatical will threaten your career; maybe the book you write will never get published or, worse, get published and then be considered another trashy novel; maybe the food in the restaurant next door will be horrendous and on top have to pay more than what you would pay for great food next door; maybe the beetroot turmeric latte is an absolute overload of bitter flavours and too many colours. I hear you: that would suck.
However, is the fact that something seems risky and scary reason enough to not do something we are excited about? Fact is, we will only find out if something sucks by doing it. (Of course, there are things I am excluding in this statement. There are many things we know before doing them that they not only suck but are morally wrong. These are not the things I am talking about here.) So, assuming that we only really know how things turn out by taking a leap of faith and doing them, you cannot take the above paragraph into account. Why not? Good question, well, because assuming how things are going to play out it is simply predicting things, which is completely fictional and not real. You don't know for sure that your office crush is going to reject you, in reality, you asking her out can be the beginning of a lasting love story. Trying the beetroot-turmeric latte may be the beginning of your deep passion for strange-looking hot vegetable drinks. You may even become a master of froth and become known as the friend who makes odd looking awesome hot beverages. You never know. You never know unless you do. So, let me ask you again, why not trying something new today? Why not feeling a bit uncomfortable today? Why not?
This is not an attempt at motivational ‘speeching’ to radically change your life. It is an attempt at motivational speaking to encourage you to simply try something new today. You don't have to change the world or your life. You already do so much. This is simply a reminder that in every day there can be newness, mini adventures, trying and learning.
To become more open and courageous to try new things, we have to understand and accept that we all have an internal parent or protector (or however else you want to name the cautious, hesitant part of you that is dedicated to keep you safe). We don’t want to shut down that part of us. The part of us that is parenting us is invaluable, very important and deeply helpful. Yet, sometimes – just like some actual parents tend to be – this part of us can be over-protective because this part is not familiar with the thing you want to try and cannot guide you confidently. That’s okay. This doesn’t mean that you mustn’t try though. It’s important that the curious and open part within you can understand the protector’s concerns, yet, still stands its ground, feel empowered and courageous. Only then, our internal child can grow up to become a confident adult that can not only keep themselves safe but also explore the world with an open mind and heart. Such a person is not shying away from feeling discomfort but embraces it because they know that discomfort brings new life experiences and therefore personal growth.
The next time you feel curiosity within you to try or do something out of your comfort zone, however feel held back by resisting fear and hesitance; ask yourself: ‘Why not?’ This is your chance to vote for the person you want to be. By choosing a little discomfort today instead of avoiding it, you not only allow yourself to be playful and curious, but you also foster your own self-confidence, self-esteem and self-responsibility. And it can all start with a beetroot and turmeric latte - why not?
...AND WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE?
What is it that you would like to try this week? And why not actually doing it?