One day while we were driving along, the boys noticed an unusually giant bird off in the distant brush trees. They really wanted to stop to get a closer look. I knew if we pulled over and got out, it would fly away, but they wanted to try anyway. I pulled over slowly. Noah gently opened the door, and left it open, as he creeped quietly toward the bird.
I was secretly hoping it would stay long enough for him to get a closer look.
It didn’t. With just few steps closer, it took flight, and my heart sank a little. But all was not lost. My boy got out of the car. He tried something that might not work. He took a few steps off the beaten path to explore the unknown. And he turned out just fine. Not only that, he learned a valuable lesson that day.
Exploration won’t kill you and curiosity is worth a try.
We don’t risk the exploration of the unknown often enough. We’re conditioned, by the fear of failure, to not get out of the car. We know better. At least our amygdala (the fear center of our brain) wants to convince us we do. My amygdala would have preferred to keep us moving that day. But why? Was it the fear of wasting time? The fear of getting no return? I don’t know . . . maybe the fear of Noah getting pecked on the head by a giant bird??
Because that’s its job, to keep us “safe”.
In an effort to “protect you”, any time there is an unknown variable, your amygdala will immediately fill your mind with thoughts like, “The bird will be gone by the time you try, so why even get out? It won’t work. Why get started? You’ll be criticized. They won’t like you. You’ll look like a fool. Why would you even try?”
I know it’s true for me.
Every time I have a vision of what HeartStories could become for women everywhere, my amygdala kicks in with all the ways it won’t get there. Even just a new idea for a GNO theme can hold me hostage before I share it, worrying about what people will think. When I think of taking a bigger step or hiring someone new, it’s a cascade of all the reasons it won’t work. So why do I keep going? Because I’m curious about what might happen.
What about you?
What if, just this once, the bird doesn’t fly away? What if it let’s you get a closer look? What if you learn something new?
What if you gain an experience that tells your amygdala it’s worth it?
You could do another page of math calculations, spend a few more minutes memorizing spelling words, send a few more safe emails, OR. . . spend a few minutes exploring what could be.
I’ll take the latter.
What about you?
Curiosity is worth a try.
to more love,