We have all heard this. I know I have. You are getting ready to embark on a new adventure, start a new business, learn something new, try something new, meet someone new, or begin a new project and them you hear it. It wells up inside of you. That still small voice that says stop!
Whether from fear, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy or whatever you wish to call the cause of it, we hear the voice inside us shout stop. Why?
I think I know. It is a means of protection. A long time ago, when life was very difficult and dangers abounded, you didn’t leave your cave or your hut until you had looked out and around a bit.
Those who cavalierly wandered about didn’t survive very long. There were always other creatures lurking around for their next meal. We had to spent a lot of time and energy making sure we weren’t on the menu.
If way back when you ran up on a member from another tribe, you would not know at first whether they were friend or foe. It was beneficial to be wary of strangers.
Sure, we may not have to run from actual tigers these days but those kinds of dangers still exist. Even today we have know by heart and we teach our children those familiar words stop, look and listen before crossing the street. When out walking around, cars have now become the tigers we fear.
We also tell our children, just as we were told, don’t talk to strangers or to be vigilant of them. Strangers come from the tribe of the Uncertain, and should be treated as such until they are fully known to us.
Initially, even if you are extremely outgoing, you will still have your guard up when meeting someone new. We all have a mask that we ware to protect our secrete self.
A long time ago, in lands far away, attempting to learn something new could be dangerous. If it were something new, that means there was no experience to pass down to guide you. Ever wonder who first figured out what fruit was okay to eat and which one would kill you?
One thing is for sure, all of the survivors knew which fruits you could eat safely. Trial and error way back when was a one shot deal for many.
From this point of view, STOP is hard wired into our brains as a safety switch. It’s natural. This helps to protect us from things that might harm us. It gives us pause to reflect on what we are about to set out to do so that we might stay out of harms way.
For this reason, STOP does not mean QUIT or END. On the contrary, it simply means STOP then PROCEED WITH CAUTION AFTER FULLY ASSESSING THE SITUATION.
If STOP actually meant STOP, we would have never left the cave or the hut, organized into communities or learned anything at all about our physical world.
I submit that in this context STOP means GO! When you are about to step outside your comfort zone and you hear that voice saying stop, just know this is just the way your brain is wired.
Hearing that voice should now become your signal to pause and then GO, learn, build, produce, develop, invent, innovate, create, and grow. I believe that too is naturally hard wired into all of us.
Have you ever heard that voice inside of you say stop? Has it become a stumbling block? If so, what was your experience or could you share something that you found helpful to overcome this?