“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” -Walter Anderson
One of the biggest challenges in my life has been understanding when I’m doing something because I want to, and when I’m doing it because I’m scared to do what I really want to do.
I am someone who can easily spend huge chunks of time alone. I enjoy eating out by myself, sitting solitary in parks to people-watch, and roaming around my neighborhood with only my internal monologue for company.
As a writer and a naturally inquisitive person, solitude often suits me.
Except for when it doesn’t.
Once upon a time, I isolated myself to hide from life and its inevitable pain. If I want to live a fulfilling, balanced life, I need to be highly self-aware about when and why I choose to be alone. I need to ask myself, “Am I choosing this for joy, or is it coming from fear?”
I suspect we all need to ask ourselves this question from time to time.
Are you choosing not to go out to that networking event because you’d genuinely rather do something else—or is it because you get nervous when you have to talk about your business? Did you decide to drop out of that class or club because you didn’t like it—or did you quit because you felt like you were out of your league?
It’s tempting to lie to yourself, especially when it allows you to stay in our comfort zone. It’s much easier to believe you just don’t want something than it is to acknowledge you’re really terrified.
But we owe it to ourselves to ask the probing questions that stretch us outside our safe boundaries.
We deserve to experience all the situations and adventures we dream about. But we can only do that if we’re honest with ourselves about what we really want—and if we’re brave enough to challenge our instinct to do what feels easy and safe.
Photo by McD22