My wife and I moved to Mexico for a few months in 2006. I’ve been struck by how different people perceive the US Southern border. To some it is a definite line, something you don’t cross without much fear and trembling. Other people see the border as a soft separation. It is the crossing point to another culture, but something that you can easily cross and return.
Generally, the people who see the border as a barrier are the ones who don’t really understand much about Mexico and haven’t made many trips out of the United States. People with more knowledge and experience in international travel don’t see the border as a barrier.
As I noticed this great divide in how people perceive national borders, I started thinking about how I view other barriers. There are borders that, in my mind, have become larger barriers than they really are–just because of my lack of knowledge and experience. If I’m not careful, I can let my perception of these borders keep me from reaching my full potential.
The way we perceive social and business borders can have a strong influence on the choices we make. If we operate with a strong fear of the unknown, we will pass up opportunities simply because they would move us into unfamiliar territory. Our growth depends on the ability and courage to cross these borders and expand our playing field into new areas.
Originally published January 17, 2007.