Notched, Part 5: Knocking Down Those Fearsome Walls

I don’t pretend that I’m an adventurous spirit. You won’t find me skydiving on the weekends, or canyoneering, or any other death-tempting feats. I didn’t consider going near the Angel’s Landing Trail in Zion NP, where I’d be saved from the sheer dropoff by clenching onto a chain, and, moreover, I haven’t traveled terribly far outside of my comfort zone (yet). But still, I’m thinking that something inside of me may have changed/is still changing.

My brain prefers an over-rational state, imagining every possible consequence (whether likely or totally remote), to every action that I consider. This means that, at least historically, I’ve had a tendency to avoid situations that create this real or imagined discomfort. But enter the offer to travel somewhere for minimal cost while in my early 20s, at my (to that date) peak of open-mindedness, and the more realistic side of my rational mind thankfully gained the upper hand.

Specifically, it realized that flying is not that scary and the statistics are in my favor. And at the other end of that plane may lie a tropical paradise and the opportunity to try foods that have not yet been presented to me previously. And if at least some of those foods are amazing, that experience helps kick through my stubborn, mentally-constructed walls and make it more likely that I’ll try something new when I get back home. What I considered as taking risk or at least uncomfortable (the travel to a new place) has now been proven incorrect, and even rewarded. And *poof*! By taking one little chance, I’ve opened so many new doors in my life.

My point is this: by traveling, I try something a little beyond my comfort zone (every time!!), like hiking The Narrows or navigating a menu written entirely in French, and the end result has so often been rewarding. And when rewarded, I become a little more likely to try something else that’s brand new to me. One by one, the irrational walls that I/we build around taking chances begin to fall — you know, like I would’ve if I had tried hiking the Angels Landing Trail… 😉

Oh, and if I have any sense, I’ll carry this into all aspects of my life..

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