“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the […] story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” – The Wolf of Wallstreet
FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear can be crippling. It can stop forward progress, paralyzing us in place or even causing us to take steps backward. Have you ever said, “I’m too old, I can’t do can’t do that anymore,” or “I don’t think I’m good enough to try that. What happens when I try and fail?” In the past, I didn’t understand how a person can make theirself believe that a once simple task is now seemingly too difficult to accomplish.
Things change. Once I moved to Dubai, it took 4 months and a weekend alone to push me out of my comfort zone and drive on Sheikh Zayed Road (one of the main highways in Dubai).
While working at ESPN, I traveled all over the United States to places I had never visited, rented a car and drove comfortably around the city. I was not apprehensive and remained calm despite getting lost, receiving my first speeding ticket (for going 10 mph over, on the highway by the way), and losing the GPS at night because of a dead phone battery. I never panicked.
At first, driving in Dubai was intimidating because I heard countless stories of twenty minute detours if you miss an exit, crazy traffic patterns, and aggressive VIP drivers. I was afraid of driving, although until now I never admitted that to anyone.
However, it really wasn’t that bad. There are definite differences from driving in the U.S. from the number of roundabouts to the scarcity of addresses. In fact, there are no street addresses, so you have to navigate by landmarks and general areas. The roads are in great condition and the biggest risk to visibility is not rain or snow, but dust storms. Despite these differences, it’s not as scary as I made myself believe. Hesitating to dive right in can create a mental block that usually gets worse over time.
This experience reinforces the idea that if we don’t continue to push ourselves past comfort zones, we can easily become stagnant, believing things are harder than they really are. It’s important to take chances, try new things, and push past what’s comfortable. If I allow myself to continue believing that driving in a foreign country was hard, my life would be very different. Now there isn’t a place that I’m afraid to drive to in Dubai. Of course, India is a different story! (read why: The Colors of Kolkata ). At this point, I even give my husband directions! Life is about progress!