"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a ride!" ~ Hunter S. Thompson
"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming after all is a form of planning." ~ Gloria Steinem
"It's not what you've got. It's about how brave you're prepared to be." ~ Seth Godin
In July this year I went on holiday to Japan, somewhere I'd wanted to visit for a long time.
Fifteen years ago we welcomed a lovely Japanese girl, Shuko, into our home for 3 weeks. More recently I have done some work for a Japanese bank. I was curious about the country, its people and culture. So in February when I spotted a deal online for 3 days in Tokyo and a cruise around the southernmost part of Japan visiting different ports en route, I decided to go for it.
Now I've been on a cruise before - to Alaska - and frankly did not enjoy it much, apart from the wonderful scenery. There are lots of positives about cruises, but they are not everyone's cup of tea. And in my view they offer a very sanitised way of travelling, particularly to culturally diverse locations. I conveniently chose to ignore that when I booked. It's funny how we do that sometimes to protect ourselves from discomfort.
Basically, I was scared of the full Japanese experience. I can't speak the language - would I be able to find my way around? I don't like eating fish - how would I get on with the food? It's such a different culture, what if....? I had so many what ifs and stories about what it would be like if I travelled there on my own. So I chose the easy option of a cruise.
Where there is uncertainty it's easy to stay in your comfort zone and not face the unknowns. You experience resistance. Resistance is fueled by fear. And you feel fear because you don't know what you don't know and so you make up stories to fill in the gaps, just like I did. But fear is a powerful teacher.
I knew that I was uncomfortable with my decision because I noticed that I avoided saying or made excuses for the fact that I was going on a cruise. You see, I knew that I was not being true to myself in choosing that means of travel.
There were two particular highlights though.
One was unexpected - visiting Busan in South Korea. What an exciting, vibrant place it is. It's no surprise that the Koreans are experiencing such global success with the electronics, cars and pop music - they are so hungry for it. Now I certainly want to visit more of South Korea, whereas it had never crossed my mind previously.
The other was meeting up with Shuko. This time with her husband and son.
But I spent most of the holiday annoyed with myself. Yes, I enjoyed it - but not as much as I could have. I felt I had missed out on a fuller Japan experience because I had made a safe choice.
Do you have the 2% mindset? Where in your career or your life are you choosing to take the safe option instead of doing what you'd most like, because fear is getting in the way?
Want to really understand what coaching means and how it could help? Watch this 5 minute video from a coaching master - Julio Olalla. Then if you'd like to experience it for yourself - maybe move towards that goal you've been wanting to achieve - contact me at email@example.com or on 01763 245323.
Hilary Jeanes of PurpleLine Consulting is a leadership coach and facilitator, who supports people to achieve their potential at work.