Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Slippery Patches

They're always there. Slippery patches. If you want change in your life they are bound to show up. Sometimes expected. Sometimes they catch you off guard.

Take Monday. I went for 3 mile walk in Central Park . The drives have been clean of snow for days so sneakers do just fine. My general route has me crossing West to East at the Reservoir. I noticed as I approached the track that it was still snow covered. I could have turned around and gone back the way I came. But I didn't. Even in my sneakers with no traction. The day was too glorious. Bright sunshine, blue sky and lots of still white snow on the trees and lawn.

But it did slow me down. That's what happens when things get a little slippery. You slow down. You try not to think about falling. You search out the parts that look a little shiny, the ones that are truly ice. You try to avoid those. You could slip on those. Fall. Hurt yourself . Worry you might not be able to get back up. Fear finds its way into what had been a pleasant, invigorating power walk listening to the Black Eye Peas.

As I navigated my way to the other side, catching myself more than once as my foot got away from me I thought about the fear I could let overtake me. Fear that could have me holding on to the tree branches that line the perimeter. The fear that used to paralyze me on a steep slope on Aspen Mountain. In one moment I would forget I knew how to ski. Too terrified to move, I would stop, look down and fear what would happen if the icy slope proved too much for me and I went spiraling out of control.

The same fear one encounters when reinventing. Fear of something going wrong, fear of failure or perhaps even fear of success. The fear never goes away. The slippery patches never disappear. It's just whether you choose to giggle at them as I did on my walk, demonstrate whose in charge or let the fear win. Your choice. But if you can't laugh, reinvention is not a route I recommend.

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