I wouldn’t describe myself as a picky eater, but other people might. I loathe blue cheese and peas; those are the two worst foods in the world. Cue the comments, I’m sure you blue cheese fans will have something to say. I don’t know what it is about that stuff you either love it or hate it. But, I digress…
My family was having dinner with old friends. The kind of old friends that can call you out on
your BS. Michelle was making salad and asked if i was ok with dijon dressing. I wrinkled my nose, no thanks. She hesitated for a second and said what is it you don’t like about dijon...with an air that said without saying “you idiot”. The horseradish, I said. I really don’t like horseradish (the third worst food in the world). I was quickly schooled on dijon dressing, there is no horseradish. To my surprise, it turns out that I actually like dijon.
My experience got me thinking, how many times do we pre-judge and decide to close off from someone or something before we have even given it a chance? It’s true, I don’t like horseradish, but somehow I convinced myself that I didn’t like dijon which has zero to do with it. We get a taste of something literally or figuratively and make a decision; it’s good or bad, tasty or disgusting, a person I want to get to know or not.
I heard my friend Lisa* unknowingly describe this phenomenon just the other day. She was interested in getting to know Sarah*, but Sarah is friends with Karen*. Lisa said that while Sarah seems cool, if she could be friends with Karen then she’s probably not for me. That is guilt by association; just like dijon’s undeserved bad reputation. Sarah might be an awesome friend, but Lisa won’t give her a chance.
I want to invite you to think about this. Where could you be closed off to something great or that you’d enjoy? Keep in mind this is likely operating quietly behind the scenes. I don’t know why I associated dijon and horseradish, but once I did it was done and forgotten. I didn’t like dijon and that was that. It could show up in relationships like Lisa, hold you back from going after a promotion or job or trying out a new interest.
When I was in my 20s I did not want to play volleyball with friends. I was convinced that I didn’t like it. The truth was that I had an embarrassing moment in junior high school P.E. around volleyball and didn’t want to feel like that again. So, I convinced myself and everyone around me that I didn’t like to play. In my far less self-conscious 40s I actually moved past my fear, tried volleyball and it was fun. But, my 20-year-old self would never have listened or tried.
Where are you holding back? Where have you convinced yourself that something is bad when it might not be? Is there a something really good waiting around the corner if you just give it a try?
*not their real names