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Cross the Solid Yellow Lines

Posted on:September 13, 2021 at 12:13 PM

“When driving on a two-way highway you can’t cross the solid yellow line”. This is what we learn when starting to drive. My literal mind said, “oh yeah?!” and crossed the line quite easily, as a car is much bigger and capable than that small yellow line.

Legality aside, there are tons of mental blocks we put up especially around social norms. We’ve built up such a complex that we can’t even see the physical possibility of crossing that line.

For example, think about buying something, walking out of the store, and immediately walking back in and returning it. Does thinking about this give you anxiety? Is this a yellow line that should not be crossed? What biases or pre-conceived notions drive the anxiety? If you immediately regret your purchase or felt pushed around by a sales person, then go return the thing!

A couple caveats for this path of experiential exploration:

  1. Ensure your actions are safe and lawful (unlike passing with a solid yellow line)
  2. Think through the worst case scenario. This can also give you confidence and set good expectations.
  3. If the action gives you significant anxiety, invite a friend along and explain what you’re doing so they can be there to support if things go sideways.