©2020 Erin Newton, www.thewellnessgarden.ca, All rights reserved
I don’t enjoy doing things that challenge me. There. I said it. Doing things I know I like and have been good at is far more my jam. I’m not lazy, far from it. It’s just that if I am interested in something, I will pursue it with gusto. I’m willing to work very hard, but I much prefer it when the predictable outcome is success. Pursuing something that challenges me? Well, that requires a certain level of risk taking and vulnerability that kinda makes me want to run in the opposite direction.
For example, working with technology is a challenge for me, so I avoid it like the plague. In particular, anything having to do with setting up electronics or learning new software has been known to send me into a rage. I would much prefer to step back and allow someone else to do it for me. It feels so good to just have other people fix things for you, install things for you, build things for you. I mean, it’s a win-win situation where a techie person gets to do what they enjoy and are good at, and you get to your goal without having to break a sweat.
Playing it safe can feel fantastic at times. The big HOWEVER, though, (and you probably saw this coming) is that this type of avoidance provides us with only a fleeting sense of satisfaction. Someone else fixed my problem so now everything is okay. Well, until the next time and the time after that when I still don’t know how to do it. Do you recall the ancient proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”? That’s kind of what I’m getting at.
I am not suggesting that you need to learn how to fix your own car. You don’t have to become omnipotent and utterly self-reliant. I mean, nobody’s going to perform their own surgery or take a pleasure trip to the moon on their own handmade rocket. Instead, I am suggesting that regularly challenging yourself to move beyond your comfort zone can help you grow in ways that are far more important.
Trying new things is challenging and we don’t usually enjoy things that challenge us. It requires a willingness to move beyond our everyday patterns and paradigms, and that takes courage. Taking risks and being vulnerable is uncomfortable and scary. But in the long run, it’s the only way to grow. The lesson: sometimes it’s important to catch your own fish.