It’s true that in order to learn something about ourselves we oftentimes need to slow down, be quiet, and listen to our thoughts. That said, sometimes being a part of a hair-raising adventure or achieving a sought-after goal will teach us something as well. How will we know how far we can go if we don’t take life to the edge from time to time?
Not too long ago I was pretty freaked out by my treadmill. I would walk on it but I couldn’t imagine running on it at all. Now I can run on it because I pushed through that fear, first by jogging and then by running in short bursts to prove to myself that I could do it without flying off the back of the machine. I guess I’d watched too many YouTube videos….
The first time I traveled to Europe I traveled alone, had messed up my reservations, and flew on the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I was tired, a little worried, and expected London to feel like home (it doesn’t) so my nerves were pretty shot. If I remember right, I think I may have even come home a day early once my work there was done. It wasn’t a great first experience but I learned that I could do it. And I knew the next time would be better.
A friend recently shared a picture of her young not-so-daring son with his hands triumphantly in the air as he came to the end of his first rollercoaster ride. I’m sure he was terrified as he was strapped in, but now he knows that he can do it. He learned that fear doesn’t have to hold him back.
Maybe you honestly don’t have time to be still, read a book, and be introspective. Fine. Instead, figure out what scary thing are you avoiding and then find a way to do it. You’ll discover something about yourself that way, too.