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  • Kanav Khurana

Dance with fear by taking a walk outdoors

Updated: Sep 2

Ever anticipate uncomfortable conversations at work? An escalation meeting with a client, a tough negotiation about software specs or a job interview? Just take a walk outside.

Ok, let’s add some context. I live in an 80 square metre apartment in Amsterdam. That is not small by European standards, but it is just apt.

Most work calls are taken in my work-from-home room, a room that connects to my bedroom. One associates home with positive emotions like calmness or creating.

Having difficult conversations or conversations that steal a part of you by forcing you to act like something you’re not risk tainting that positivity.

As mentioned here, the outdoors forces us to multi-task - i.e focus on walking while we’re having a difficult conversation. This replaces fear and irrationality with clearer thinking.

So, with this in mind, how does it feel when I’m walking outside?

Firstly, the person I’m speaking with is 'smaller' on video - i.e on a mobile device, instead of a monitor. Secondly, being outdoors trivialises the work you are doing, hence, you don’t take it too seriously. You see the world moving - trams, cyclists, cars and pedestrians. You think to yourself, “There must be someone doing something way more important”. And that frees you up.

If you trivialise what you do, then you will be better at it. I borrow this idea from Naval Ravikant’s ‘Navalmanack’.

So, here is the nuggetised summary:

  • Work from home can lead us to psychologically blur the boundaries leading to a reverse osmosis of work intruding into our personal space

  • We associate home with positive emotions

  • Sticky situations at work can risk disturbing that positivity

  • It can help to dissociate these moments from home

  • When possible, try going out for a walk

  • This can help to trivialise the work that one is doing

  • There is a higher chance that you will dance with fear to:

  • Overcome the situation

  • Suppress anxiety

  • Come out stronger on the other side

Try it out! Question to reader:

  • Do you have any other hacks that you’ve tried?


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