“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”- Eleanor Roosevelt.

This morning before I delivered my Fear Is Your Future keynote at Universal Music in Santa Monica, one of the participants handed me this quote. It appeared on his daily quote notepad and he felt the need to give it to me. I thanked him, placed it in my handbag and went on to deliver my keynote. At the conclusion, a different participant asked me, “What are you afraid of now given you’ve stepped into some big fears?”

Fast forward a few hours and I'm sitting in a Melrose Place coffee shop only to look up to see the image below painted on the huge wall in front of me.

I returned to my hotel room later in the day exhausted and reached into my handbag. Out came the quote. I read it, sat on the edge of the bed and reflected back to those two moments earlier in the day. Then the question presented itself ... what is it that I fear most when I travel alone? I realised quite quickly it was my own company. Why does it feel so awkward to book a table for one? Does the discomfort lie in worrying about what others will think when they see me sitting alone? I wondered how I might apply what I teach in intentional adaptability to this personal challenge.

What if I brought focus, courage and curiosity to the table with me? Was I capable of shifting my lens whilst dining alone away from my ego and more towards just observing myself?

It was at that moment that I decided to face my fear of the dinner date for one. I headed out the door to Tao in Hollywood, I figured if I was going to ride the edge of my comfort zone, I was going to do it somewhere interesting. 

What happened? There was no hiding behind liquid courage as I'd pressed the pause button on wine for the month whilst I tested a vegan diet. Instead, I sat, watched the world around me, ate some amazing vegan food, knocked back two virgin cocktails and then put pen to paper. I filled two pages writing down how it felt to hold up the mirror, what was going through my head, why I was feeling the way I did and what the experience was teaching me. Was it awkward? Hell yes, but then I started to relax and enjoy myself even though I was the only person in the restaurant seated alone. My own company wasn’t as excruciating as I thought it would be and I realised this was way more fun than sitting in my hotel room watching Netflix.

This experience left me questioning what if the happiness we seek is not found in focusing on the wanting for what we don't have, but on the other side of the things we avoid? 

Want To Know More About HackingHappy.co?

HackingHappy.co is on a mission to teach 10 million humans how to intentionally adapt by 2025 in order to future proof happiness. We are devoted to supporting you in creating the space, self-belief and the courage to realise the happiness you deserve. Want more happy in each day? Take your free Hacking Happiness Assessment here.



Also in Hacking Happy Blog

Finding Happiness In Just The Next 24 Hours
Finding Happiness In Just The Next 24 Hours

How can you find happiness in just the next 24 hours? I thought I might share a really simple exercise to help those who want to bring a little more happiness into each day. So we here go …
We Are Human First
We Are Human First

Mother nature has forced our hand gifting us a moment of inflection that is long overdue. We find ourselves at a decision point that will shape history, one that requires us to consider a fundamentally different future, a future that puts Humans First. Our very survival depends on it.
Opportunity Is Found In Uncertainty
Opportunity Is Found In Uncertainty

If you feel like the world has gone mad I doubt you are alone. Is it any wonder when a quick search of any major publication in the world will find your computer screen screaming at you don’t touch anyone, stock up on essentials, lock yourself away, the recession is unavoidable, prepare for the worst. Fear is everywhere and it’s fucking with us. We challenge you don’t let it!