Just in case you missed it, here is the not-so-flattering picture of me. Yesterday I described my experience of walking on broken glass. Now, I want to reflect on it with you and share what sense I make of it and how I integrate this experience into lessons learned that I can apply going forward. I asked and answered a number of questions for myself….
Why would anyone propose such an exercise?
Because that is what it is – an exercise to get at your fear – so you can face it and overcome it.
Does this really translate to other situations?
It’s up to me to reflect on it and extrapolate the learnings. It will only have the meaning that I choose to give it. Otherwise it was just that, an experience in the past. Navigating life and business can feel (metaphorically) feel like walking on broken glass at times – afraid of the sharp edges, getting hurt, not making it through or embarrassing myself in front of others. In our vulnerable moments, we need to lean on others while we keep our vision as there is lots to distract us.
Isn’t this insane – why go to such lengths?
Yes, it is extreme. The objective is to give you a visceral experience that you feel/anchor in the cells of your body so you can recall it more immediately and powerfully than if it was an intellectual exercise.
Aren’t there other more, rational ways, to get at the same learning?
Perhaps, but this is the one that was offered to me at this time.
Would I ever do this again?
I don’t know. But I do know if I do, I need to keep my eyes fixed straight ahead at my vision and not get derailed by “listening to my feet.”
What really got me to do the exercise?
- Wanting to overcome what is holding me back. Hoping for that breakthrough, to be different afterwards.
- Seeing the leader do it unscathed.
- Seeing my peers do it unscathed.
- Wondering what if I didn’t do it, how would I feel?
- What if I did do it, how would I feel?
There’s much to be mined and to mind.
- You really can meet most challenges that come your way – with enough focus, breath, and support.
- Know when you really do need a visceral experience to remind yourself that you can overcome your fear.
- Follow a leader who shows you they have been where they ask you to go, particularly if it’s a scary place. Do as they do, not as they say.
- Watch others who have mastered what you want to master and learn from them.
- When you feel vulnerable, you need to keep a positive mind and lean on others for support.
- The greater the challenge – real or imaginary – the greater need for community.
- Listen to your body. It holds the wisdom.
- When your first impulse is to run or say no – get curious, move closer and explore that space. Even if you land in the same place, it will be a fuller, more enlightened no.
- Always have Epsom salts, tweezers and bandaids on hand when doing this exercise. Do not do at home without expert supervision.
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