The idea of exploring is one I don’t think is valued enough. I don’t mean travelling and exploring new countries or cities, I mean exploring self.
Being able to know your own limits whilst also being able to put yourself out there and experience new things.
It’s so easy to stay within the remit of what you know because there’s comfort in familiarity. However, it’s also worth considering when you don’t venture outside of that you lose the chance to learn about yourself about and understand yourself.
When you give yourself the opportunity to explore life a little more, you might find that you don’t actually believe the things you thought were true.
It’s a new day, a new month, a new year and a new decade.
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to begin, that time is now.
Start the blog, writing the book, writing songs, writing poetry, take that class, visit that new city, initiate plans with that person you met recently, start that podcast, share your photography or whatever it may be.
So, often we hold off from starting because we think that we’re not ready or we’re waiting for the right time.
But there is no right time, it’s a myth and you’ll always be able to find an excuse as to why you should put off that thing for just a little bit longer.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable enough with how your voice sounds to start a podcast. But maybe if you just started the comfort would come with time. Plus most people don’t like the sound of their own voice when they hear it back, so you’re not alone.
The difference is they choose not to indulge in that feeling because they know that they have something worth sharing.
If you’ve been waiting for to start, start now.
You can’t always have both.
So it turns out that the thing that brings you the most comfort might also be incredibly unhelpful to your personal development. It could even be the main thing holding you back from living your dream life, a life of bliss.
But you get so caught up in the comfort of this habit that has grown on you and with you that you can’t even see how it is hindering your progress.
On the flip-side of this is helpful habits and actions. If you’ve never done them before they probably feel a little uncomfortable but that is to be expected. Despite, how these things may feel they’re actually good for you and following though with them will lead you to your dream life, a life of bliss.
And so it’s a choice between short term discomfort for long-term joy or long-term comfort for long-term dissatisfaction.
The choice is yours.
Mid-week musings on not embracing anxiety.
If you find yourself caught in the analysis paralysis of indecision it might be worth making a conscious effort to care-less.
Instead of allowing the thoughts to go on and on until breaking point, give yourself a deadline.
3 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days before you have to take action. Do it for at least a week and keep a dairy of the decisions you made and the outcome.
The ideal outcome would be that you find that whether you care or care-less things will still be alright which is a pretty good reason to stop being so afraid of making decisions.
You’ll have physical evidence that what you decide isn’t always the most important thing it’s how you feel and your attitude towards what you’ve decided.
And if you find you’ve picked something that didn’t result in the desired outcome , then it’ll be the perfect time to practice your bouncebackability.
At the end of trying out a different approach to decision making the beauty of it is, is that if it was just totally dreadful you can always go back to your old approach.
If that’s the the case at least you tried which is often more important than the actual result.
You can always go back.
One of the things that I don’t think is often considered is that when you leave your comfort zone you can always go back if things don’t work out.
For example if you make music and usually just keep it to yourself, try putting it out there for people to hear. Sure you might be nervous and it’ll take a bit of courage but if it doesn’t go well you haven’t lost out on anything.
And if you lose that feeling of courage you can always go back to keeping your stuff to yourself again, you can always go back to your comfort zone.
However, on the flip-side you can keep trying because good things take time and it’s like Ziglar once said ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well‘.
It’s more than just comfort and familiarity but it’s both of those things too.
When you move on from something and you haven’t reached the place you moved on to, it’s totally normal to look back at what you left or let go of.
And when you’re in a place of limbo, perhaps feeling a little dissatisfied with where you’re at, you might find yourself looking back from a place of lack.
Then suddenly that thing you chose to leave looks golden and bright. You find yourself wondering why you even moved on in the first place.
But deep down you don’t really want that thing, you just crave certainty. It’s much easier to take a step back to the familiarity of what you know than it is to keep going and venture on into the unknown.
Not all games are worth playing, not unless you have to.
If you could choose certainty over uncertainty, would you?
Would you still choose certainty if it required courage and perhaps a little discomfort (which is totally normal when something is new).
If the answer is no then that means that your fear overrides the bit of you that wants to be at peace. That you’ll accept long-term discomfort because it’s comfortable and familiar over short term momentary discomfort that will lead to peace.
It might be hard to admit to you yourself and even harder to say out loud but what if it’s true.
What if you’re subconsciously (or consciously now that you’re aware) holding yourself back because you’ve become comfortable with discomfort.
I’ve always said that there’s comfort in familiarity, it’s a better the devil you know kind of situation.
So, if you find yourself in the waiting game and it’s uncomfortable, don’t keep playing.
Do something different, it might feel scary but it might be worth it.
How exactly does one discover themselves?
Through exploration, experimentation and being open to the unknown.
If you live your life in the box of what you know, you may think that you know yourself. But actually, there is so much more of you to explore outside of that box.
As much as there is ‘the me I know’ inside of the box, there is also ‘the me I don’t know’ outside of it.
Granted you can’t experience every single thing in life but you can try things that are outside of your usual routine.
It can be big or it can be small.
- Visiting a new city
- Joining a group or class
- Doing the thing you’ve always thought about doing but kept putting off
- Going for a walk
You might think you know yourself or that you’re content with your life. But when you do a journal prompt like ‘Describe your dream life’ you might find you’re nowhere near where you want to be. Maybe you settled for an unfulfilling ‘stable’ job and you never even took the time to figure out what you truly wanted to do for a living.
“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”
It was either Seth Godin or Simon Sinek that once said that you shouldn’t seek reassurance because it’s something you can never have enough of.
I don’t think I fully understood the statement until I observed it in others and in myself.
Reassurance creates a temporary fence of stability that lets you know things are fine but it doesn’t last. It’s like a cloud of smoke that will eventually disperse until there’s nothing left and then you just end up back where you started, seeking reassurance once more.
And so instead of seeking reassurance,
Why not practise being adaptable, embracing uncertainty and getting out of your comfort zone?
Don’t spend so much time trying to figure yourself out and. Pondering and ruminating on where you fit in and the kind of person that you are.
Give yourself some credit and remember that you aren’t so simple that you fit into a neat box or that you’re easy to label.
You’re complex and ever-evolving.
There is comfort in being able to say I’m this kind of person and this is what I like . But often when we do that we don’t give ourselves room to grow. The last thing you want is is to end up boxed into limitations of your own making.
Go out and explore yourself, what does it mean to be you? It might be strange and beautiful but that’s okay.
You might find that you’re a juxtaposition of messy and particular, simple and complex, a painter and a scientist, there’s endless possibilities and it would be a shame to never find out.
According to the dictionary app on my phone self-discovery is ‘The learning of what kind of person one really is, or what one really wants to do with ones life’.
I think that is something worth pursuing.