There is a sinister undercurrent to isolation.
When we succumb to our fear of exposure (and yes, that’s what it is, and shame is at the root of it) by staying inside, never picking up the phone, staying safely behind email or text message, and puttering on Facebook or our websites, we do more than just compound our fears. We miss out on unseen opportunity.
And there’s no telling what they may have been.
Here’s an illustrative tale from my own life recently:
I marched myself into the offices of a non-profit I’d been courting on and off for years, all by phone and email to no avail. I’d started making up stories about this place, how they didn’t get me, or take me seriously or couldn’t recognize the value of what I do…
So imagine my surprise when, without an appointment, I was welcomed warmly and the director himself sat down with me for a meeting on the spot! ‘I wished you’d come by months ago’ he said… and I bit my tongue because, well, never mind all those emails and phone calls.
The point is, he got that the work I do with creative entrepreneurs dovetails beautifully with the mission of his organization. I guess he had to see me to believe it. And hence, the start of what I think will be a beautiful collaboration!
The moral of the story? Sometimes you just have to hit the streets, my friend. First off, it is an instant antidote to paralysis. The world is so much bigger than our ruminations and stuckness. It is full of stimulus and association. Believe me, I’ve missed a lot by not getting out, thinking a nap or TV show would serve me better than just withstanding my lack of answers in the moment.
Open your front door and walk. Walk into places you’re afraid to go, especially. Because your next answer could be just around the corner.