“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…, we must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“I’m not a cop…”
The rain has been pretty consistently non-stop for the last four days in my neck of the woods. And while I am certainly a creature of habit, I love creating new ones. I moved to a new location a couple years ago and there is still much to explore in my new “home town.” I learned of a local patisserie and decided to stop in on my morning commute last year.
The wind and rain precluded me from parking just anywhere, so I was in for a bit of an expedition as I traversed alleys and parking meters. I did stumble on a back parking lot specifically set aside for the bakery and its neighboring businesses. As I parked and fumbled with my purse, hat, and umbrella, I saw two men shuffling around in what appeared to be a bush-covered back walkway. As I drew near the area, the shifty nature of these two gentlemen, at first, put me ill at ease. I didn’t like that I felt even more uncomfortable, given that I was already uncomfortable trying to find a little whole-in-the-wall business.
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So, in usual Rayanne fashion, I stopped when I was right in front of these two characters, one had now hidden behind a wall and was peaking around it, and I looked the other right in the eye and asked, “What are you guys up to?” There was a pause, for apparently my no-fear approach had caught this dynamic duo off guard. Character #1 said, in a very laid back fashion, “My friend here is smoking a little pot…, and he just.., we just…” I cut him off before he stumbled even further and said, “No worries, I’m not a cop. Have a great day” then I went on my way, snickering.
I shook my head as I continued to look for the bakery. I was very glad that I didn’t become immobilized with fear – absolutely misplaced fear – at 7:30am on a workday. I could have proceeded along my way, never confronting but looking over my shoulder, as I proceeded. Facing the awkwardness head-on squashed any residual trepidation and I was able to enjoy my coffee and pastry in peace and the knowledge that looking someone squarely in the eye is unnerving for them, not me. Gotta love it when you know something they don’t know.
It’s what sets you apart
Though not as faulty as the cat that swallowed the canary, confidence in self comes across in many ways. It can be read in your walk, it can be seen in how you hold your head, and it can be heard in your assurance of voice. It isn’t easy, to be sure, but it is what wins awards and big accounts. It is what sets you apart. It is what propels your image forward, to the front. And what is wrong with that? There are no more starting quarterbacks or head cheerleaders – this isn’t high school. This is the big league and it is built of those who know what they want and what they need to do to get it. By some, we may only be seen as working stiffs, but the differential comes in the form of accomplishment, the way we walk, or even a sincere thank you and paycheck at the end of each month.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie