This week I found myself walking behind a young man who was wearing a t-shirt with the entreaty to “Do something that makes you feel alive everyday.” It was advertising for a bungee jumping venue in the north of Australia.
My first reaction was to roll my eyes, with cynical thoughts about adrenaline junkies following close behind. But in the following days I have found myself reflecting more than once on the concept.
Part of my coping strategies of recent times have been to rely on routine, and limit anything that pushed me out of my comfort zone. This has definitely brought me through an incredibly turbulent time for our family; however I have noticed that more and more “normal” activities have seemed uncomfortable, and my daily experiences are narrowing.
Previous incarnations of myself thrived on regular stretching of my boundaries, and the results have always been notable. There are specific instances I can recall, in high school, university, and in the work force, when I have taken major leaps of faith with no idea of how I would accomplish my task, let alone of the outcome. Each of these incidents were life changing!
And so I’ve decided to start a weekly challenge for myself. I’m calling it “Conquering Fears on Fridays”. Each week I will stretch my possibility muscles and let you know of the outcome. I am sure that you will be surprised at some of the mundane, trivial tasks that I consider to be beyond my capabilities. I hope to inspire you in 2 ways:
- to try and exit your own self-constructed comfort zones, starting with baby steps if need be
- to make you feel how well you are coping when compared to myself!
Writing about it will help keep me accountable to the challenge, and I will be able to look back and track my progress. My current anxiety levels have narrowed my life so insidiously that I had barely noticed the change. I hope that in following this exercise I reverse this trend in a fashion that is not too overwhelming for me.
In this spirit, the fear that I conquered today was using our new BBQ for the first time. This is a laughable task for most normal people. I know that. But I have only cooked on a BBQ 3 times before in my entire life, and this was my husbands domain. It is even his BBQ, a happily received birthday present from a few days ago. The fears that crowded my mind as I considered cooking there were tinged with failure, embarrassment, and the very real risk that I would set fire to one of the best loved gifts he had enjoyed in years!
I am pleased to report that the result of pushing through all of my vividly imagined objections resulted in a tasty dinner, a rested husband, and the knowledge that the BBQ is no longer off-limits for my regular food preparation tasks.
Success! What fears can you push yourself to conquer this week?