When I was 11 my uncle took me skiing. I spent most of that trip wedged in a snowdrift, but I have very fond memories of it. I would cautiously launch down the bunny hill, feel myself picking up speed and panic. Many people were injured. Finally, too tired or too numb to panic, I just stood still and let gravity carry me to the bottom of the hill. And then I fell. But it was a vast improvement. I realized that my fear was making me fall, not my speed. If I could just ride it out, I would make it to the base of the slope without causing a pile-up.
Since starting at R&B, I have had countless moments — almost an endless string — of panic (but you should know I’m prone to anxiety). On many occasions, I have found myself precariously perched at the top of a steep hill, terrified to move. As a new Design Associate, you want so much to be great at your job — you want to be an expert — but there’s a learning curve. Until you have more experience under your belt, a challenging project can be very intimidating.
I thought about my skiing-epiphany this weekend, when in the midst of a very busy Saturday, a customer approached me with a crammed folder and a strangely scaled builder’s plan. My first instinct was to run. I was terrified and overwhelmed simply by the idea of the project. I didn’t feel capable — I could see myself careening towards a snowdrift. But instead of panicking or looking for another DA to rescue me, I stayed still; I stayed present. And amazingly, I didn’t crash into a tree. Instead, I figured it out, had a fantastic interaction with my customer and learned a ton along the way.