This summer some of you may have spent their days abroad. I myself spent them in Bangkok, Thailand. Few days after buying the ticket, 5 days before departure, I literally found myself on the airplane to Bangkok. Why do I tell you that? Well, on my trip I gained important insights into why it is not always advisable to think too much about every possibility and thus miss out on valuable “Hell yeah” moments.
3 things how to stop asking What if… and start acting:
#1 Stop being afraid
Suddenly my anxiety hit me. The typical Thailand tour guide says: „Beware of pickpockets on crowded places.“, or “Beware of well dressed men, who ask where you are coming from and where you want to go.” and I asked myself „Will somebody hurt me there?“, „Am I going to die?“, What if something bad will happen to me, because I am traveling as a woman on her own?“, or „What if I am bad at my job, they don’t like me and send me back to Austria?“. My mind was flooded with apocalyptic scenarios. Nevertheless I decided either I let sorrow wrinkles on my face or accept it and say „What if… – Hell yeah!“. Well, we are all afraid, worried and anxious when we encounter new directions. But from time to time we should ask questions like „What if…“ and add a little „Hell yeah let’s do this!“ afterwards to endure those stresses and strains. Needless to say, you should stop being afraid because pushing borders lets you grow personally. With bravery you get to know something new and are able to expand your horizon. Don’t let your self-doubts get in your way!
#2 Take calculated risk
It is also important to ask questions like „What if…” and not replace them inconsiderately with „Hell yeah!“ when it comes to dangerous situations. Therefore the minute I got out of the plane I promised myself: „Hell yeah, I can do this.“ That changed very quickly when I was on a motorbike taxi and thought that’s it, my life ends here. The driver was playing need for speed’s bike version with me on the way to work and all this of course without a helmet. Not enough being scared for life, I managed to witness his driving skills above his head with my own eyes. Red lights do not even have recommendatory character, mostly they are being ignored. As a matter of fact, I told myself I would never ever take a motorbike taxi again. Well let me be clear, that did not last at all. I realized that driving in Bangkok might not be as safe as in Vienna but is reasonable well controlled, even though in the first place it makes a totally chaotic impression to an European. The point is letting oneself drop. You will not be able to control everything in your life that is what we first learn when we explore new situations but with a little bit of openness, judge the risk and if it is not going over the threshold, go for it!
#3 Learn something new
Getting along with colleagues at work despite the language barriers and foreign work habits? That was my next big challenge on my trip. Speaking english is obviously out of season at least once you leave the tourist area. „Hell yeah, let’s learn speaking Thai.“, I said to myself. You have no idea how impressed Thai people were in response. I quickly understood that I have not be perfect in Thai but people around me were delighted that I made an effort. Do not be afraid to learn something new! Even if you fail. Who cares? Stagnation is boring, moving keeps you alive!
Make a step forward, get inspired, have a good day and „Hell yeah, you can do this!“.
I could write about all my “Hell yeah!” experiences there, but we won’t be done by tomorrow. The point is „What if I had never stepped out of my comfort zone and had never experienced those beautiful days?“, „Hell yeah, I did step out and did it.“ Every now and then also your TEDxVienna Team steps out of convenience and inspires you with new ideas to change attitudes as at our coming conference on October 31st, 2015.