I bought a pressure cooker about 7 years ago, against my mother’s advice. She tried to convince me that I was too busy to can vegetables and didn’t need one. I always maintained that she was worried I would blow up my house. So of course I went ahead and after opening the box and reading the instructions learned I couldn’t use it on my glass top stove. Instead of returning it, I put it back into the box and stored it. When we moved to our current house a couple years ago I took it out of the box and put it in one of my kitchen cabinets, but have yet to find time for a garden, hence no need to can vegetables. Long story, short, today I was compelled to pull out the scary pressure cooker and make a beef stew. I had planned on making a beef stew for dinner, but forgot to put it in the crock pot earlier in the day. When I got home from visiting my mother (hmmmm, seeing the connection?) I did not have the 3 hours I needed to make a proper beef stew on the stove. So, I got up the courage to first find the pressure cooker, then search the web for instructions, which is quicker than trying to locate the instruction manual in my house.
I quickly read the instructions jumping from safety precautions to beef stew recipe and back and forth and jumped in. I cannot remember the last time I was so stressed out! I turned on the stove and stood about 10 feet away from it all tensed up, looking for steam escaping, rereading the instructions and FAQs. I called my mother and father while it was “jiggling” away and my father told me there was no way it would “blow up”. So I relaxed a bit. After 15 minutes I cooled it down, opened it and added the veggies. This time when I turned it back on I was like an old pro. I only stood back 5 feet but actually took my eyes off it after the first minute.
When my stew was done the meat was so tender and the vegetables perfect, the broth was a bit lacking in flavor though. I have found a new way to cook meals faster and more energy efficiently and it only took me 7 years to get up the nerve to try it. I couldn’t help but relate this to learning new things in business or stepping out of my comfort zone to speak with people I don’t know yet. Once I do something for the first time, I wonder why it took me so long to do it. So from now on, let’s stop letting fear keep us from advancing. Let’s take our rightful place among the brave and start stretching our comfort zone!