I have been slowly reading through Emotional Agility. It is taking me a while to work my way through the book. I read some, and then I think about it. I have started to write in my books. Something that I did very seldom and only with textbooks when I was in college. I have opted for the orange highlighter, which breaks with using only the yellow one. I am not sure why I changed, only that it felt like a book on breaking the rigidity in my life should be done with a color I never use.
The topic that I have been reading and rereading about for the last week has been safety and comfort. I am well aware that I exist in a land of comfort. I do things that I enjoy but seldom do I branch out into doing things that feel outside my comfort zone. These things tend to give me anxiety issues. I like to learn about new things, but at the same time doing new things terrifies me.
I think that I have allowed the muscles that do new things to atrophy. When I am doing something new at the library where I work, I am nervous. I am terrified of failing. Sometimes I mess up. I have my suspicions that this is rooted deep in my childhood, where making mistakes had physical consequences and humiliation. Even though I know that that response will not happen, I am still irrationally terrified that it will occur when I make a mistake. I feel like I missed a lot of opportunities while I was in college to learn new things and have new experiences because of my fear of failing and leaving the comfortable place that I felt safe.
The big difference between being comfortable and taking a chance is that I viewed doing something new the same way as if I was doing something unsafe. There are many things I want to do. One of which is finishing the book I have been hiding from for the past few months. I even signed up to do the NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel in a Month). I am very behind. But I am trying to write every day. Failing at it most of the time, but trying none the less.
My fear of leaving my comfort zone brings us to the topic of a job opportunity a friend pointed out to me. I have been trying to work up the nerve to apply for this job. I also am aware that I am passively refusing to apply for the job by taking so long to get around to it. I don’t believe in myself enough to apply, or I am too afraid of succeeding. Others who know me think I would do well at it. Everything, applying or not applying, comes down to not letting my addiction to comfort overcome my need to succeed at something.
I will apply, though I am aware that I will probably have either missed the opportunity or am not right for the job. Nothing changes if they say no, but the world might change for the better if they say yes. And then I will have to stretch my adventure muscles and go on this incredible journey of living my life instead of watching it go by me.