Do you ever get the feeling you should call someone – a person you think could help with your business, or a friend you’ve lost touch with, or your grandmother whom you haven’t spoken with in months, or someone you owe an apology to – but, for whatever reason, you never end up making the call?
Honestly, I’m guilty of this more often than I’d like to admit – mostly as a result of social anxiety I’ve carried since childhood. Very often I know I should make a call, but I avoid it like the plague and opt for other forms of communication, or complete neglect, simply because the fear is too overwhelming.
But you don’t have to be a person with an anxiety disorder to avoid making phone calls. For you, it could be a pop up fear due to a particular circumstance or the inexorable busyness of life getting in the way.
Regardless, I think calling someone you’ve been thinking about is incredibly important. So important, in fact, I’ve included it on 30 Days of Blossoming because I think it can be a catalyst for your personal growth.
You may be avoiding a phone call that could change the entire trajectory of your life.
So, today, I want to help us all (including me because I’m on the journey, too!) overcome our tendency to neglect making important phone calls with three key lessons I’m (slowly, but surely) learning about life:
Lesson #1: Life is extraordinary; lean into the magic.
How often have you been thinking about someone only to find out they were also thinking about you at the exact same time? You may call that coincidence. I call it magic.
I believe the universe is a mysterious place, that we are all connected to the mystery, and if we pay attention, magical things will happen. And by magic, I’m not talking about tricks or hocus-pocus. What I’m talking about are the everyday phenomena that seem ordinary, but, when viewed through a lens of gratitude, are actually pretty extraordinary.
These magical moments are fate and faith wrapped into one; and my best advice, if you want to live a fulfilled life, is to lean into them.
Lesson #2: You have to connect to experience connection.
I’ve written before about how much time the average American spends on their cellphone each day, and it’s a pretty staggering number. But the truth is, that time is being spent on activities other than actually talking on the phone. That time is mostly spent scrolling social media or the internet, checking emails, texting, or using apps – nothing that truly connects us to other human beings.
Yes, all of those things allow us to interact with people, but I would argue we are not actually connecting, especially not at a level beneficial to our social bonding. One study actually showed a phone call between a mother and her young daughter released oxytocin, a social bonding hormone, in the daughter. Whereas a text message from the mother had no hormonal effect on the daughter – meaning, no oxytocin was produced.
Of course, talking on the phone doesn’t replace actual face-to-face communication, but the reason it’s still more beneficial than typing a conversation is because it’s more nuanced. When you have a conversation with someone over the phone you can hear the inflections in each other’s voices, you can experience each other’s emotions, you can more easily decode each other’s intent, and you can actually connect to a real voice in real time.
Lesson #3: Risk is less painful than regret.
Risk is inherently scary and painful. Putting yourself out there, risking rejection or misunderstanding, is always difficult and not easy to ignore. But the pain of regret – of never knowing what might have been or never having a second chance – is far more painful and stays with you much longer than the pain of risk.
There are no guarantees that the phone call will go well or produce your desired result, but there are also no guarantees that not making the phone call will be any better either. Just remember, the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
I hope you’ll choose to lean in and embrace magic, connection and risk by making that call today. And I hope you’ll let me know how it went in the comments below!