There’s something comforting about monotony. When your life is monotonous you may not feel inclined to change it. Nothing exciting may ever happen, but nothing bad happens either. You’ve chosen to play it safe because when you do that you’re not going to get hurt…
Right before I was about to start kindergarten, I went over to my godfather’s house with my mom, dad, sister, and brother. My godfather had this big pool, so my parents took my sister and me over there as a last hoorah before we had to start school. I remember initially having a really good time that day. My sister and I couldn’t swim, so we played on the steps of the pool where we were safe. It was a scorching day, but having some fun on those steps was enough to beat the heat. I’m still able to recall this day, because something fairly traumatic happened to me. There were only a few steps in my godfather’s pool, but unfortunately, during one part of the day, I wasn’t paying attention. I thought there was another step underneath me, but because there wasn’t, I ended up falling in. Now in my mind, I was down there for ages, but my mom told me years later that my dad jumped in there right after me, but that didn’t matter to me because this moment shaped my relationship with water for years to come.
It took me years to learn how to swim after this incident because I was scared that I might drown like I thought I almost did on that day at my godfather’s house. I would go to waterparks, the beach, and pools with my friends, but I would only stay in the shallow end because I didn’t want to drown. I was safe where I could stand, but I also missed out on a lot of fun that would go on in the deeper parts of the water. I would look on and see my friends and family who could swim laughing and playing in the deep end, and even though I wanted to join them desperately, I didn’t because I couldn’t build up enough courage to learn how to swim. I was even taking lessons, but my fear kept me from learning how to do it.
However, one day something just clicked for me. I realized that I couldn’t keep being afraid. I wanted to share in the fun that my friends and family members would have when they were in deep water, and so I decided to put my fear aside and go for it. When I finally made this decision, I was able to use the things that I was being taught in swim class to actually learn how to do it.
This may not be a very big example, but it’s fairly representative of what can happen when you choose to let your fears dictate your life. Deciding to get out of your comfort zone is always scary, but when you do it, great things can happen. For years I let my fear of the water stop me from having the fun that I wanted to have, and I’m sure you’ve had quite a few moments where you’ve let fear dictate your life…
Maybe you let fear stop you from starting that business you wanted to start.
Possibly it kept you from asking out that guy you had a crush on.
It could be that it stopped you from going to ask your boss for that raise.
Or perhaps it prevented you from speaking up to defend yourself when someone said something bad about you.
You didn’t do the things that you wanted to do in situations like these because doing what you desired would have made you uncomfortable, and like I said before, we don’t like to be uncomfortable. When we stay comfortable, we don’t have to face what we’re too afraid to do.
Positive thinker, don’t let fear keep you from doing the things that you want to do. Yes, stepping out of your comfort zone and facing your fears is uncomfortable, but wouldn’t you rather go through a little bit of discomfort in order to achieve what you want? It’ll definitely be scary and painful, but the reward will be great!