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Two seconds to change your life. I swear by this.

The crowd was bigger than I had ever seen it. Hundreds of people snaking their way through the human labyrinth created by thick, nylon ribbon barriers and metal poles.


TSA agents quickly added more lanes as they eyed passengers coming.


You know what I mean, right?


Hundreds of people in line/queue all heading to the same place, zig-zagging up and down the same ground...


Giving the illusion you're making progress.



Yeah, that was what I was experiencing.


On top of anxiety. And my heart in my throat.


But not for the reason you are thinking:


It wasn't because I was nervous about missing my flight.

It wasn't because I was anxious about losing my ID in that maze.

It wasn't because I was worried my phone with my boarding pass running out of battery.


Nope, I was anxious because I had taken on a ridiculous challenge.

And this line was going to cause me some trouble.


I entered that line with a vow to take action on a piece of advice I had gotten the day before.

It's advice you've heard yet probably haven't heeded.


It's attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Mark Twain.

Marilyn Monroe.

Buddhism even talks about it in some respects.


Do something every day that scares you.



I had taken on a very specific and slightly ridiculous challenge to test my fears.


Look one person in the eyes. Hold their gaze until they turn away. Do that as many times as possible for 2 days. There were instructions to make sure, you know, I didn't get beat up by staring at someone. (If you're in my email community, I'll send you the full details - just hit reply).


In short, the idea is to titrate fear. Expose yourself to the fear. Feel it a little bit, survive, then move on to another fear-inducing activity. Why?


Fear stops you from getting what you desire.

And friend, it often stops you from getting what you deserve.


So let's play with this fear-inducing exercise and what it can do for you:


To be frank, I didn't think I would have an issue with this. I look people in the eyes all the time.


Wow, was I wrong.


After my first encounter - yeah, the one where I turned away first (fail!) - my heart started racing. It was harder than I thought.


Then I looked at this huge crowd. Could I do this exercise the entire time I was in line? That was an eternity! And hundreds of people!


And then it happened.


2 seconds changed my life.


After my first fail, I mustered up the courage to soften my face and try again. And again. And again. Fail, fail, fail.


Finally, I hit my first win! Okay, that wasn't so bad. It just took a nanosecond more of looking into their eyes after I wanted to dart my own gaze.


In total, it couldn't have been more than 1.2 seconds of gazing. And feeling the fear. And resisting turning away. 1.2 seconds. I could do this.


I made eye contact with 3-4 more people. Some looked away first. Others, I failed and broke gaze first. I kept going.


With practice, my fear lessened. I was now at my 3rd "win". Then my fourth. Each one turned away within 1.5 seconds. No fist fights. No one yelling at me. Everyone just moved on.


Then it happened.


I can still see his face.


His glasses.


His gentle smile.


His warm eyes.


I made eye contact.


If my past 4 wins were any indication, he'd break gaze in 1.5 seconds. I'd be done.


Yet he held my gaze.


Omg, I sensed my heart starting to race.


He wasn't going to look away.


My heart was in my throat. Could I do this?


He was walking towards me, I towards him. We would pass each other in mere seconds. Would I have to turn my head to keep my gaze? That would be weird. Do I break now?


I was 4 wins in this far. I wasn't going to give up. I held it. So did he. 2 seconds.


Omg, I sensed again. How is it physically possible that we have made eye contact for 15 minutes yet we still haven't passed each other, I thought. Of course it only felt like 15 minutes. We were maybe 2.1 seconds into it.


We got closer to each other.


The fear dissipated. I just held gaze.


BOOM! He smiled. He broke it.


I could breathe again.


I smiled. Something shifted. I don't know what. Lie. I do. The fear. The fear shifted.


I could look the next person in the eye. No fear. I didn't care if they broke contact first or not. I wasn't nervous. I wasn't scared. I just...was.


This all sounds ridiculous, I know. Within 2 seconds all my fears were gone?


Yeah. Kinda.


From there, I kept going. I kept gazing. I enabled...

  • A lovely encounter with an airport personnel that I would not have otherwise had.

  • The physical benefits of keeping a soft smile on my face for days (it's really creepy to look at someone with my scowl), and that made me feel awesome.

  • Doing at least 5-10 more things PER DAY that I had otherwise been avoiding...because of fear.


Yes, yes, yes, it all sounds ridiculous.


It's not.


Your fear is getting in your way.

You don't have to let it.


Eleanor Roosevelt says it.

Mark Twain says it.

Marilyn Monroe says it.

The Buddha (in so many words) says it.


Today, try one thing...one, one, one thing that gets you OUT of your comfort zone:


Try one of these:

  1. Brush your teeth with your non dominant hand (sure, not scary, but if that's how small you have to go, do it!).

  2. Make the phone call you don't want to make.

  3. Do the task you want to do the LEAST first.

  4. Speak up in a conversation when you least want to.

Or if you're really feeling it, do the 2 day challenge I did. Let me know how it goes.


If you're already in my email community hit reply and tell me "I'm choosing to do __________ today, and yes, it scares me!"


If you're not in my email community, join. Click here, then on click on the Daily Dose button up top. Pop in your email. (sorry for the 2x click, I'll make it easier for you in the next site update). You'll get weekly wisdom (that will last you all the days of the week, I promise).


Now go out there and get (just a little) scared. It will work wonders.


You got this. I promise.


All my love for you,


Ashley





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