I was on a flight from Tel Aviv, Israel to Zurich, Switzerland on Tuesday. I had to be up at 1:20am Tel Aviv time to make it on time for my flight to Switzerland. I rarely fall asleep quickly even under the best of circumstances, but when I’m excited about something, such as traveling to a destination where I’ve never been, and staying in a stunning ski lodge (it’s seriously next level, join me on Insta to see what I’m talking about) my insomnia is greatly intensified. Thus even though I tried to fall asleep around 9pm to get several hours of sleep, it was impossible. I slept for a total of approximately 23 minutes.
I got up with Kobi and we headed off to the airport. By 5am my excitement was finally turning into exhaustion — just in time to board the plane. While waiting for the plane to board I suggested to Kobi that we upgrade to business class. He went over to the ticket counter where the woman informed us that you can only upgrade upon check in.
Now, I know that different airlines have policies on this, and I haven’t ever traveled on Swiss Air before, but there have been numerous occasions when I’ve been able to upgrade at the gate, so I was skeptical. I could see from how she was standing that she felt more exhausted than I did and assumed that her response was more about her own tiredness and disinterest in performing the transaction than any official policy.
We board our flight and I see as we walk through business class that there are numerous empty seats despite those passengers boarding first. We then begin our march into the economy class section of the plan where we walk past several screaming and/or crying children, arguing couples, and other mayhem. We sit down and the seats feel exceedingly fall to me. Immediately give Kobi that look that says — “WTF Kobi why isn’t there more space in these seats you should have gotten us business class seats you see that there are so many seats available that flight attendant was obviously lying to us I’m sooooo annoyed right now.” So even before I can open my mouth to actually say those words, he says to me, “should I see if we can upgrade after take off?”
Of course, I’m thinking, “yes, obviously.”
But instead I say, “no, don’t bother.”
“Are you sure? You look annoyed.”
“I’m not annoyed except by you saying I’m looking annoyed.”
Obviously, I was being super reasonable.
My husband is both stubborn and devoted to my happiness (yes, even when I’m being unreasonable and/or bratty) so he doesn’t drop it.
He’s like, “why not just ask, what’s the worst that can happen?”
And I play out this whole long scene in my head: I ask the question that I think I already know the answer to. The answer is no. Not only does it feel like a rejection but I look like an idiot and all of the other passengers sitting near me on the plane now know that I’m an idiot who asks stupid questions and embarasses herself. How mortifying.
It may sound like a bit of a leap, but this happens. And I know I’m not alone in this.
SO MANY WOMEN ARE AFRAID OF ASKING, SAYING, OR DOING CERTAIN THINGS BECAUSE OF HOW THEY THINK OTHER PEOPLE WILL JUDGE THEM.
I know I’m not the only one who holds back from asking for what she really desires. Not just in life, but in business as well.
Although I’ve certainly found a level of success, it doesn’t escape me how much more is possible if I were willing to just say what I want to say.
...Ask for what I desire.
...Let go of all the fear about what people will think if I’m less than perfect at all times.
Especially because that fear holding me back is just a fear of a feeling — there’s no real risk.
1 | FEAR IN OUR MIND IS OFTEN A FEAR OF JUDGMENT FROM OTHER PEOPLE
Because here’s how the worst case scenario spirals in my mind…
I ask about the upgrade, the attendant rudely replies, “no, you idiot, if you can’t upgrade at the gate why would you be able to upgrade on the flight?!” My sensitive little heart contracts at the harsh tone and rudeness of the flight attendant as the embarrassment and humiliation washes over me. The rest of the flight I sit in my seat while the other passengers laugh at my arrogance and stupidity. The passengers surrounding me all have extensive networks within my industry and word quickly spreads of my holier than thou attitude and idiocy on the flight and no one ever wants to work with me again. It’s impossible for me to make money in my business and I’m not longer able to maintain my life with my husband who grows tired of me and leaves me. I’m left all alone abandoned and unable to take care of myself…
My worst case scenario changes ever so slightly depending on the context, but it always ends with me being abandoned, hated, homeless, and miserable.
But here’s the worst thing that could actually happen in my real life here on planet earth…
I ask about the upgrade. The flight attendant says, “Unfortunately, no, that’s not possible at this time.” And that’s it.
Even if the flight attendant or one of the other passengers on the flight does think I’m stupid or pompous (1) there’s nothing I can do about it, (2) there’s no way I’ll ever know, and (3) it’s none of my business.
OTHER PEOPLE’S PRIVATE THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ABOUT ME ARE NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
I can’t know and I’ll have a much better and happier life if I just stay the heck out of it.
3 | YOUR FEAR ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE
And that’s the thing with fear. It’s innate — it’s totally natural and it’s not going anywhere. The point isn’t to get rid of all our fear because that’s just not a thing. The point is to do what you want to do, say what you want to say, ask for what you desire even with the fear.
3 | YOU GET TO MAKE A CHOICE
Fear is an instinctual response. We’ve been equipped with the fight, flight, or freeze reaction as long as we’ve been around.
Instinctual ust means it’s our immediate reaction. Our instincts don’t have to limit us, though.
Just because something is your first reaction doesn’t mean you don’t get a choice. You do.
You can have your immediate reaction of fight, flight, or freeze. Then you can use your intellectual brain, instead of the reptilian one. And decide…
Decide to take a deep breath…
Decide to question your thoughts…
Decide to choose something different…
Yes. You can consciously choose something other than your instinctual fear response.
If you knew that you couldn’t get it wrong — that most of your fears have no basis in reality, what would you do differently today?
Go do it.
I’ll be over here cheering for you!