Sometimes we find ourselves in a comfort zone that provides very little comfort.
We maybe find ourselves settling for a job with very few prospects and then stop looking any further.
Or maybe we almost, just about, screw up our courage to approach someone at a party or send out an invitation to dinner, or put our hand up for a job opportunity.
What I’m trying to say is that sometimes we find ourselves paralyzed and indecisive even when, logically speaking, the path forward is clear.
What is even worse, just as we are kicking ourselves for our weak and feckless ways, almost inevitably, someone points out to us what we should do!
As if the obvious had somehow completely escaped us “Yeah thanks Mate!”
Obviously, some of us have boundless confidence in ourselves and the energy to put a foot forward.
Those people rarely have empathy for the people who are stuck between the rails of success and failure, staring in mindless shock as the train of life comes hurtling down the tracks towards them.
Strangely enough, the inspiration for this piece was a pair of bright orange shoes that I own.
I bought some utterly ridiculous orange shoes a while back and I love them!
Everyone else seems to love them too!
I receive complements at least two or three times a week for my attention seeking shoes.
So why don’t we see more people wearing similar?
Why doesn’t anyone ask me where they can get some like them?
I have a theory about this.
We can often appreciate someone else’s bold colour choices, but we can’t bear the thought of standing out that way ourselves.
Why is this?
I think that embarrassment is the great equalizer, along with its close friend shame!
Between them they cause most of our hesitation. We are looking to protect ourselves from the harsh possibility of disappointment, regret, and sadness.
As is so often the case, this is often not a rational or well thought out position.
What does it matter if a complete stranger rejects us, doesn’t want to offer us a job or maybe even talk to us?
Or maybe we are worrying about success, maybe we worry what sacrifices we might have to make to get to the top?
So we never make the attempt. Very much putting the horse before the cart and refusing to even recognise an opportunity because it might force us to give up something that we are already dissatisfied with.
“Okay,” I hear you ask “you’ve described the problem. So what’s your solution?”
Well the truth is, there is no magic bullet, but just being aware of our tendency towards paralysis when a firm decision is clearly in our best interests can be enough.
Recognising when we are being irrational can be a liberating and exhilarating relief. When a friend or family member approaches you and says “Hey this looks like a good match for you” don’t turtle up and get defensive.
Consider that maybe you’ve just been offered the sort of opportunity that you will kick yourself later for not seizing.
As always, if you find that you are still stuck, that you want a bit of help cresting that hill, building up that confidence or talking down that internal dialogue of self-doubt?
Well, you know where to find your friendly neighbourhood hypnotist.