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  • Writer's pictureBassam Tarazi

How I Get Unstuck

Zero degrees Fahrenheit. Can’t feel my hands. 19,000 feet. 5 hours in, 15 hours to go. Ask anyone putting one foot in front of the other on a mountain trail how they keep going when their bones—and their neurons—are in revolt, and you’ll get all sorts of answers.

Just get to the next cairn.

Count 100 steps. Then count the next 100.

Remember that you chose this.

These are all useful, but I've found seven words that have shown their value on tough days in the hills, at work, on stage, or otherwise. 

“I will sleep in my bed tonight.”

For those of us not scraping for our next meal, displaced by war, or dealing with chronic daily stress, tough days may be relative, but in the moment, strife can be debilitating even if what we’re scared of is a presentation, a speech, or just saying hello to a stranger. 

As we all know, to do new or interesting things in life we have to put ourselves in unfamiliar positions. Call it discomfort. Call it stretching yourself. Call it being a rookie. In any case, there is a trunk of safety you are leaving to walk out on a limb of uncertainty.

A literal or figurative abandonment of a comfort zone. 

Thankfully for all of us, the branch isn’t going to break. We will make it back to the trunk. We will sleep in our beds tonight.

That small but mighty sentence found its way back into my thoughts as I was getting my latest business off the ground. You see, part of my marketing push entailed me going out in the community and introducing myself to strangers. (When’s the last time you just walked up to someone to get their approval or at least acknowledgement? When’s the last time you did that multiple times a day?)

There were days when I got cold-shouldered so often, so quickly that I wanted to head home early and lick my wounds, but then I would remind myself, “What's another hour? How bad can it be? I will sleep in my bed tonight.”

The notion cuts through most choke points because it reminds us that we only need to have elastic vulnerability.

Sure, that speech you have to give is scary, but before you know it, the talk will be over, the world will keep spinning, and you will be under the safety of your covers.

Elastic vulnerability. "Snap back to reality" has never felt so good.


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