There Will Always Be A Reason Not To Do Something
Yesterday I got my nose pierced in what can only be described as a personal act of courage. When I decided to take this route I noticed a multitude of emotions running through my head that ranged from fear to excitement to nervousness to impulse, and countless more. Keeping in mind that I’d never pierced any part of my body before, this was a big leap for me. Aside from one tattoo I was relatively new to the body art scene in almost every single respect. But I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and let someone push a needle through the crest of my right nostril.
I was proud.
And today as I write this article, I’m happy to say I don’t have that piercing anymore. Only 24 hours later I removed it after battling abnormal blood loss (I’ll blame it on a nasal decongestant) and swelling that I found both unsettling and physically uncomfortable. I now have a much more profound respect for anyone that decides to pierce any part of their body, ears included.
But after looking back on that minute moment in history I knew there was a lesson to be shared in all of it. There was a takeaway worth passing on to others, and slowly I came to realize what that message was.
I’d start that message by stating that I believe all humans maintain a personal code through which we operate our own lives. Call it a motto or a proverb or a personal slogan, we all have a few words near and dear to our heart that help us through good times, bad times, scary times, and many more. While I too maintain a number of personal motto’s, I can confidently say there is only one that I live by more than any other:
There will always be a reason not to do something.
I couldn’t tell you where this saying comes from, or even if one singular person was wise enough to construct it in the first place. But it is the formula that has lead to a large portion of my personal success. If not for a consistent repetition of this phrase, odds are high I would have never been brave enough to move across the country, to begin writing as I do now, or to cease caring about the lens through which others perceive me.
And coincidentally enough, this was the very same phrase that helped me find myself laying back on a medical table as a woman told me to take a deep breath before inserting a needle that went clean through my nose with a feeling that can only be described as the worst pinch I’ve ever felt in my life. Slowly a tear blossomed from my right eye just as she told me it would, and a smile of personal achievement spread across my face. The deed was done.
After hopping off the table I quickly made my way to the mirror to examine her work. Instantly I found myself unsure of the new stud protruding from my face as I questioned if this was the right move, or if instead I’d just wasted time, money, and effort to do something that now felt more like an impulse and less like a rational decision.
I went home to write about my experience and internal feelings of remorse. I wasn’t excited or elated but instead frustrated and regretful. My roommates reassured me it looked good but this did little to suspend the feelings of doubt that circulated in my head. I went on to convince myself that it was simply something new, and just like with most new things, I needed some time to adjust and accept it.
The next day I woke and still found myself unsure of the new bodily addition. I took a nasal decongestant (to much regret) and found myself bleeding endlessly all day from the piercing as I continued to convince myself this was all okay. I arrived home and entered the front door with blood pooling down my face. I was now too tired to continue sopping it up, so instead I let it flow into my mouth as my tongue licked my upper lip clean in a last-ditch act of grace.
I walked confidently to the bathroom and cleaned my face of debris before promptly pulling the piercing from my nose. I washed my hands, sighed in relief, and had a wonderful night just like any other.
Looking back on that moment I only find myself smiling with both happiness and pride. While I now know that a nose piercing isn’t something I’m looking to add to my body any time soon, I’m elated that I took a chance and tried something that felt uncomfortable and foreign. If not for that personal motto, odds are high I would have never bothered trying it in the first place. The hole in my nose is nearly closed, and the stud sits on a shelf in my room as a reminder of what it means to do something despite the fear that comes with it.
I think this is something we can all stand to remember. Often times we limit ourselves from so very much in this world simply because of the fear and convincing statements we generate in our own heads that stop us from pulling back the curtain to a new world. We find reasons not to do something, reasons not to grow or find ourselves uncomfortable. And this all makes sense because honestly, who wants to be uncomfortable??
Nobody does. That much is obvious. And I’ve even gone so far so as to write about why need to feel comfort in that discomfort. But so much of what we want and crave involves overcoming doubt to reach a new peak on your personal journey through the proverbial mountains. Sometimes the challenge will be talking to your crush, other times asking for a raise at work, and even other times simply putting a piece of metal into your nose. The journey is different for everyone.
But understand this: no matter what you want in life, there will always be a reason not to do it. There will always be a point of obstructing rationalization in your head that feels legitimate. And I’m here to tell you it’s not. What’s truly legit is when you can pass that mental obstruction and do what you once told yourself you couldn’t. When you can approach your crush in a group of friends and just ask them to get a bite to eat. When you can walk into your boss’ office and discuss the raise you’ve deserved for so long. And yes, even when you can walk into a piercing parlor and have someone put a needle through your nose.
These things are possible, and so much more.