Last weekend I gave blood. Okay, so what's the big deal? Lots of people give blood… It was a BIG DEAL for me because it was my first time.
I've traveled a LOT over the years and blood banks don’t like people who travel. Last time I tried to donate I was politely declined. Even this time my check-in form was covered in little comments – ‘lived in Oman for 5 years’, ‘6 visits to Nepal’, ‘4 weeks spent climbing in Bolivia’...
It was the climbing trip that amused the nurse filling out my form, (that and the scabs on my knees from tripping up the day before). "You must be tough", she announced. I was taken aback. I've never been called 'tough' before.
It’s not something I’ve ever thought about. I’ve always climbed and run long distances because I LOVE it. To just be in the mountains – the scenery, the challenge, the exhilaration, for me there’s nothing better.
I can’t think of a time when I ever thought ‘Oh, I must be tough to do this’. Instead my mind’s thinking, ‘Other people run and climb, there’s nothing wrong with my body, so why not me?’
Yes, I’ve been in situations where I’ve just had to cope, where not coping would get pretty serious. Yet that doesn’t make me tough in any way. It’s just survival, something happens, and you respond.
You don’t sit around thinking ‘Am I tough enough to do this?’
If anything, I’ve always thought of myself as a scaredy-cat. I’m the one giving myself a little pep talk in an exposed situation, ‘You can do this Alison, just concentrate, one step at a time’ and ‘Seriously, don’t even think about falling’.
It’s like that starting a business. All those super cool business owners had to begin somewhere. Think of your favourite shop or brand, the one you always envy. The website you visit where you think, ‘If only this was mine, the owner must be so talented’. Okay, they probably are, but do you REALLY think that when they started out they got everything right?
You can put these businesses on a pedestal or you can think ‘If they can do it, so can I’.
Of course, things happen. It’s how you deal with it that matters. If you tried to think of everything that could go wrong, you’d NEVER start a business. Things like, ‘What if someone steals your sample set at your first ever tradeshow?’ or ‘What if the warehouse floods just after a big delivery?’ Yep, these both happened to me. It was a disaster at the time, but just like all ‘disasters’ we emerged out the other side – made new samples, replaced damaged stock. Not such a biggie.