For the past few weeks I have been enjoying a more stable stage of my travel. I stayed in the same country and state, the same city Melbourne, the same hostel in North Melbourne, and even the same room and bed ;). This is a big change compared to the last 5 months of constant travelling; not staying more than a few days in the same location. It was time to ground myself in my surroundings. It was time to build something meaningful by creating deeper connections with the people around me. There was an urge to work towards a big goal instead of traveling around as a tourist.
Something interesting is noticeable about my interaction with the world. Firstly I’m getting really comfortable with my surroundings. Thinks become more familiar and it is easier to unconsciously do things. Another thing that I often notice is having more difficulty in taking decisions and getting out of my comfort zone again. It is as if it has become limited the moment it had the opportunity to do so. My journal is filled with experiences of feeling depleted, not knowing what to do, and having low passion to doing anything useful. Stuck in some kind of downwards spiral.
Writing it down makes me smile. Within the experiences rests a big judgement towards myself. ‘I need to do something useful with my day’, ‘I need to explore the city’, ‘I need to feel energized’. All things that are pushing me down even more. There is definitely no need to do anything at all. It is all in my head. It is all my limiting beliefs of how I should be as ‘Niels’.
The key is to first notice this feeling consciously. That is tricky. I have to take the leap to sit down quietly and take on my journal. Focus on writing and just write what I have to write. It clears my thought process and makes me calm. It is this mentality shift that creates the upward spiral.
I also notice that people around me influence my energy and feeling. It is an age old thing but it makes sense. Being aware of the change is only something I recognized recently. Talking to nice people lifts you up inside and suddenly you can take on the world. Doing this for yourself, without other people, is for me a personal goal. Again, increasing awareness is the first step on this journey.
There is nothing wrong with being secure but you have to realise that it does reduce your openness to the world. Advancing yourself requires you to see your comfort zone and go beyond it, stretching yourself to do the new things. Maybe after you need to take a break (as this is my stage right now) before taking another step. Learn along the way, create and inspire people to do the same.
One day, when I was working in the kitchen at Lentil, Ariana, a Spanish girl, also helped out. I could see that she was eager to learn. I leaned into this enery. “which of the plates do you want to make?” I asked. “Well I have seen the soup but I’m not sure on how to make the bowl” she replied a bit hesitant. “Great you do the bowl then, let me show you how” I continued. I pushed her across her comfort zone to learn something new. I think many people would appreciate this. The same happened to me in the kitchen. The Dutch head chef Lis is an amazing woman that constantly gives me more responsibility and pushes me to learn. “You do the rice pudding as dessert oke?” I never made big portion of rice pudding before. I had to collect my confidence and convince myself that I knew. And of course I know, it is not such a difficult dish right ;).
These kind of people are not bothered by their own ego and would gladly show you the ropes. You need those in your life. Think about how you can be such a person for others. Which trades can you share today with the people around you? Be humble, notice your ego, and teach others! 🙂