Are you on the brink of making a major decision in your life? Maybe you want to quit your job, move to a new city, or try online dating for the first time. Or maybe it’s less drastic. Maybe you just want to try a new spin class or volunteer with a new organization.
What’s holding you back? Is it your fear of the anxiety filled moments awaiting you?
The moment when you brush an imaginary piece of lint from your suit and pretend to walk confidently through the front doors of your new company, even though your hands are shaking in apprehension and you can barely keep your eyes open. (You spent all night wrapped up in dreams that you were five hours late for your first day and no one would sit with you at lunch).
Or the moment you walk into Starbucks and scan the room for the guy (or girl) you have traded exactly three emails with. You didn’t want to waste too much time with calls or emails until you knew if you would feel even remotely attracted to him. (Believe me, there is nothing worse than trying not to gulp your coffee because every moment listening to a guy talk about his souped-up jeep feels like a moment too long.)
I have experienced plenty of anxiety filled moments over the years. Moments like my move to Banff to work as a Concierge at the Banff Springs Hotel, my first day at Royal Roads University, my first interview with a candidate in my new role at TEKsystems, my arrival at the Cape Town airport for my six week volunteer program with Cross Cultural Solutions, and even my “meet and greet” session with the other 19 people I would spend three weeks traveling with through Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia on my GAP Adventures trip.
Each of these experiences started with a pit in my stomach and ended in friendships with people who have enriched my life. People who sat on the bathroom floor with me when the nausea from chemotherapy made it dangerous to move more than two feet from the toilet; people who came over to make dinner and ensure I ate it when one of my heartbreaks turned me into a temporary anorexic; and people who reminded me of how quickly a lifelong friendship can develop when you meet someone on the other side of the world who shares your desire to make a difference in the lives of the people around her.
Now when my chest tightens at the thought of doing something new or slightly crazy, like putting my furniture in storage, packing my bags, and traveling the world (stay tuned…), I remind myself what’s waiting for me on the other side of the anxiety. Every time I push myself beyond the safe borders of my comfort zone, there is a chance I will meet a new friend who I don’t yet know exists. Someone who will give me a new perspective on life, make me laugh, or just stand beside me through the good and bad times in my future. She (or he) is out there. I just haven’t met her yet…