S-t-r-e-t-c-h. CHANGE. GROW!
Really? But what if I don’t want to?
I’m quite comfortable, thank you very much.
Or so I thought.
In a recent and brilliant course I took through Dr. Franzi Ng, When Business Becomes Personal, I was reminded that my success as a business woman would demand all of the above and in full force. Yes I already knew this but my head-in-the-sand self wanted to ignore it. I keep coming back to that want word. My emotional state drives my wants. So if I’m feeling a little insecure today, I’m scared and I do NOT want to make that cold call. Maybe tomorrow. On second thought, make that next week. Please don’t make me leave my comfy little bubble! It’s warm and cozy right here. Oh and did I mention safe? Warm, cozy, and safe. Sounds so much more appealing than stretch, change, and grow!
Oh wait. My last drop of free money (maternity leave) comes this week. No more safety net. Panic wants to set in. I gave up my job but let’s face it – the job would have meant losing money. So much for being safe – is there such a thing? Suddenly being comfortable is a scarier prospect than diving off the cliff. So dive I must.
As part of a homework assignment last week, I was expected to go out and make 3 BOLD requests with the full expectation that I would receive “no’s” each time. I was also to say thank you to the person who rejected me. Yes, you read it right – I had to seek out 3 “no’s” and express gratitude for it. Imagine my anxiety. In retrospect, the entire process proved to be a comical endeavour. How fitting that I should be expected to carry this out at a time where boldness was becoming a necessity!
I sought out the support of a good friend to tag along as I raced out to complete my homework with little time to spare. The temptation to create compelling stories rather than actually meet my obligations was overwhelming as I sat in the driver’s seat bracing myself for what was to come. Fortunately, my will overpowered my fear and I made my first stop at Boston Pizza. Dedicated friend in tow, I walked in to the building despite bouts of nausea to make my first bold request. When met by a gorgeous blonde girl with a picture-perfect smile, all I wanted was to run out the door rather than humiliate myself.
“Table for two?” she asked.
“Um, actually…no. We’re not staying. I just have a quick question for you.” I replied. A fake smile plastered across my face with a fake persona to boot, I boldly asked, “Is there any chance you could give me a free pizza to take home to my family?”
Clearly stunned by my question, an expression of bewilderment permeating her face, she hesitantly responded, “uh…well….uhhh…no…. is it for something special?”
“Oh…no, no…” I replied, my pseudo grin straining the contours of my face, “I just want to bring home a free pizza for my family.”
Her response was immediate, the result, I’m sure, of determining that she was talking to an individual suffering the effects of lunacy, “No, we can’t do that…sorry.”
Without hesitation (and perhaps to speed up my departure), I quickly acknowledged her, “Thank you for being so honest and clear. I appreciate your time.”
I raced out the door holding my breath and immediately burst out laughing. I could only imagine the tale that was being shared by a gobsmacked blonde at Boston Pizza.
One down, two to go. Next stop was the Sandman Signature Hotel. Feeling slightly more courageous, I dragged my friend into the pristine, modern lobby to face more personal unease head-on. Stalling the dreaded request, I casually struck up a conversation with the front desk clerk around the new building and how beautiful it was. Perhaps I could prematurely banish any assumption on her part that I’d be a perfect candidate for the loony bin. Unable to waste time, the friendly woman asked, “So what can I do for you?”
My artificial smile back in place, I boldly asked, “I’m wondering if it would be possible for you to give me a free night’s stay for my husband and me because we deserve it.”
Bewilderment greeted me with a stutter, “uh…you mean…um…for free?”
“Well I’m certainly not authorized to do that for you. Um yeah…or… no…I can’t do that but would you like me to get the manager and you can talk to him about this?”
Panicked by the prospect, I immediately responded, “oh, no…that’s okay…but thank you so much for being honest with me – I really appreciate your time”. (My words betray me as they mirror the utter fear I have of making this bold request to someone in higher authority….gulp!) I smile profusely to the friendly woman and observe her smile in return…definitely a look of “wow…did you really just ask me that?”
Brilliant! Done! Whew.
Oh…damn it…one more to go. But let’s give you the Reader’s Digest version…I got a “yes”. And it was a small request at Shoppers Drug Mart to have them open the sliding doors to the post office so I could check my mailbox. A quick “yes” was followed by, “just so you know, we do close those doors at 9pm so you need to be here earlier next time.” In this case, I was disappointed – now I would have to seek out yet another “no”. This I did the next day at Tim Horton’s. Instead of my “no”, I received an “I dunno” response from a confused and insecure teenager at the drive-thru window. To let her off the hook, I simply responded, “Just kidding of course.” Perhaps not the way I was supposed to do it but I couldn’t hold up the line of vehicles now could I?
There you have it. BOLDNESS. Looking back, I realize that as terrified as I may have felt, the process gave me a natural high. I was having FUN. And I was stretching every ounce of my being to make “no” my friend. A new understanding came upon me as a twist to the saying “the worst thing they can say is no”. If that’s the worst thing then what are we afraid of? What if we can learn to love “no” the way we love “yes”? Suddenly those no’s can be our building blocks for greater things. Even more, what if we get an unexpected yes just for the asking? Perhaps if I’d had the courage to seek out the manager at the hotel, I may have gotten myself a free room! And why? Because I had the courage to ask.
So I challenge YOU. What can you to today to be BOLD…to stretch, change and GROW? Your life is your playground – be daring and make it fun!
And I close off by making a BOLD request to you:
Tell any Prince George moms that you know or if applicable, do this for yourself…I am offering a 10-week Program that could CHANGE YOUR LIFE and get you on the road to greater fulfillment. Check it out and please SHARE it with everyone you know! Dads/husbands…consider this much-needed gift for Mother’s Day – your special woman will love you for it.