Time to Feel the Fear…Again: Another Step Outside My Comfort Zone
I used to think I felt no fear,
until the day I discovered that everything scared me.
This was the day that I changed my definition of “fear.” Instead of “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger,” I began to understand fear as “something that causes feeling of dread or apprehension.” While I rarely (if ever) experienced impending danger, I felt a sense of apprehension every day. Actually, I can’t even say I went so far as to feel it. Truth is, I avoided it at all costs. I made sure I remained in my tight little world of constant comfort where life was cozy, secure, and predictable.
I have often alluded to my story of how I was “tricked” out of my comfort zone, but I have never shared the details. For our 22nd wedding anniversary, Dave decided to take me away on a “romantic vacation” to attend a “Good to Great” retreat on Thatch Caye,—David TS Wood‘s private island in Belize. Little did I know it would end up being a head on collision with a fear I didn’t know I had:
Since that week in December 2012, I have progressively faced one “fear” after another in the name of “Finding My V.O.I.C.E.” I crave the exhilaration that is “on the other side.” My Comfort Zone is not as small as it once was. In fact, I can honestly say that its boundaries have expanded into what once was my “Uncomfortable Zone.” Uncomfortable is now a safe place for me, which is incredible! I have enjoyed the freedom of expansion. Now, once again, it’s time to move forward. If I want to continue to expand, it is time to explore an area that was once unknown to me.
I have come full circle…
My journey began with a stage, a place of extreme exposure, where the performer (so, ME) is given permission to not only FEEL but also to EXPRESS her feelings. Right now, I am facing “the stage” again, and this time by choice. I have an intense urge, for whatever reason (I’m not yet able to articulate it,) to finally allow myself to demonstrate on the outside all the passion I feel inside. I can’t quite call it a desire—it’s more like a calling, an urgency, a push and a pull. I must do it! This type of expression may be at the very core of all my inhibitions. It freezes me. My mind can’t comprehend it. Now is the time to let “it” out–whatever “it” is. It’s time to express myself, to “go bigger,” to be seen. “IT” is what is standing in the way of what I want, so it’s time to just do it…
I have decided to take an improv class…
It may sound like no big deal, but for me, just the thought of it is paralyzing. So as I sit here with a pit in my stomach, wondering if I really am going to go through with this next step, I am reminding myself of my own hypothesis:
when it comes to “getting what I want,” that thing that is stopping me is the very thing that I must do in order to reach the goal.
I know I am not the first to discover it. However, I have definitely experienced it first hand. Making that decision to “feel the fear and do it anyway” has been a very important step in finding my voice. It’s time to feel it again.