Somewhere, somehow, I’ve developed a habit of trust. Trust in myself, but more importantly, trust in the process of creation itself. Somewhere I’ve become convinced that if I give my all to a creative project, it will give me something in return. I will struggle, and I will very possibly fail, but the effort will be worthwhile no matter what.
I talk about fear a lot on this blog. Earlier this year I did a whole series on how I deal with social anxiety. Last year I wrote about what it was like to give a speech in front of hundreds of people. The reason I try to be so open about it is because the only thing worse than feeling afraid is feeling like you’re the only one feeling afraid.
In the first part of this series, I talked about how social anxiety has impacted my life, and the things I did that made it worse. The second post was about all the ways that I've been working on changing my mindset from fear to openness, and the last post was about the things I've done to push my boundaries and leave my comfort zone. Today is the final post in the series and I'm going to share where I'm at with the process right now and where I see myself going.
This week I'm covering some of the actions, behaviors and situations that have pushed me outside my comfort zone, and helped me become stronger and less fearful. If you haven't already, make sure you read last week's post on mindset shifts, since I've found that pushing myself to do scary things without bringing a ton of mindfulness, softness, and self-care to the table just makes me feel worse about myself.
In my last post I wrote about my struggles with social anxiety and all the things I did that made it worse: obsessing over what was wrong with me, trying to fix myself, reading endless books about communication and social skills, putting my tale of woe on repeat, and letting other people define me. In this post and the next one, I want to share what I've done that has helped, and how you can apply what I've learned to your own life.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was in the process of making a big decision. This decision has been brewing for a few months, even a few years. Earlier this year I started to realize that I was playing things too safe and being too timid. I had big dreams but wasn't taking the steps I needed to realize them. I thought about times in my life when I had taken drastic steps and how much that boldness changed me and spurred me on.
I spend a lot of my time working on feeling good. I work on my anxiety, make room for what I love, make sure I eat right and get enough sleep and exercise. And, as a result, my life is pretty good right now. I have time to do what I enjoy, I have an amazing relationship, close friendships, and I consider myself pretty darn lucky. But I know I can do better than good. The only thing getting in my way is my fear of being uncomfortable. I'm learning that the only way for me to make those things happen is to do things that don't feel so good, to do things that I'm afraid of, and to keep stepping beyond what feels safe and comfortable.
Since making a commitment to everyday creativity, I've learned a few things about why I don't seem to have enough time. I've learned that often what looks like "not enough time" is really a mental block tricking me into thinking I'm too busy. Sometimes I really am too busy, but most of the time, it's all in my head. Below I outline some of the mental blocks that have gotten in my way, and that may be holding you back, plus some ways that I've learned to dismantle, or at least work around, these blocks.