Even though it’s a snowy day here in Toronto, spring is in the air. Unfortunately, It also means I always have to be prepared with plenty of tissues in my pocket to combat my mild allergies this time of year.
Last week, I happened to notice a fellow sufferer on the subway – red eyes, sneezing, sniffling, and then riffling through her pockets and bag for (I assume) a tissue. She didn’t find one and I watched her as she sat back sadly to politely and discreetly sniff away every couple of seconds.
Knowing I had my pack of tissue in my pocket, my first reaction was to offer her one. But as I put my hand into my pocket, the voices began…
But what if she doesn’t really need a tissue and she’s just a sniffly person?
But what if she throws it back in my face and flat-out rejects my tissue in front of everyone and I’m outcasted and publicly shamed?
And (my personal favourite),
But what if it’s not allergies at all and she’s actually a zombie who sneezes when she’s hungry for brains?
Having a great imagination is a blessing an a curse sometimes, really.
Then I thought,
Well, that’s just too much risk so I’m sure she’ll figure it out. I’ve been in the same position myself but I managed. It’s uncomfortable to sniff away without a tissue, but it’s not life or death. She’ll be fine…
Thankfully, my sympathy for her outweighed any ‘ifs’ and ‘butts’, and I offered her to help herself to the package.
Did she scream in my face and reject my offer? Did she try and eat my brain? No, she didn’t. Phew, right?
Actually, she laughed, thanked me profusely and it led to a really nice conversation on our commute, and even ended in an email exchange.
I don’t know where it will lead – a new friend, connection or new client? I do know that she’s sending me one of her favourite TedTalks and I’ll probably send her some funny allergy memes. But after that, who knows?
The point is that the potential wouldn’t be there if I hadn’t ignored my ‘big buts’ and just acted upon my first instinct.
I can’t believe I was so close to talking myself out of it, giving myself the permission to let something go because of a myriad of [some crazy] excuses and missing out on a great chat and a cool new connection.
The lesson learned here is that my big buts can really get in the way of great things. It’s not easy to quiet them BUT we have to try, especially in the hopes that something amazing (not life-threatening) will come of it.
Have you overcome a big BUT lately? I’d love to hear about it on the Facebook page.
And if you need a hand overcoming your big BUTs, get in touch to learn how coaching can help. Go to ashewoodward.com or reach out any time at email@example.com.