Lately, it’s been important for me to push my boundaries more and more; specifically with regard to things that give me the jibblies. I’m not talking about scary movies and horror comics; I’m talking about social anxieties and the fact that I would cheerfully be a shut-in if I let myself.
A long time ago, I learned that anxieties are insidiously hard to deal with. When you back away from the things that frighten you, it becomes easier and easier to back away every time you face something that scares you. You’re giving the fear positive reinforcement. Clearly, if you have a fear of being shot by muggers or eaten by savage bears, you should probably continue to indulge in that particular fear. But when it comes to irrational fears, phobias and anxieties, it is incredibly important to make a stand against that fear.
And then, even beyond that, you need to throw yourself headlong and do things you would otherwise not do, to push the limits and extend the boundaries. You cannot, I cannot continue to let myself be hemmed in by irrational and borderline ludicrous anxieties.
It’s become a constant thing, a tiring thing and also a fun thing, because it turns out sometimes you try something and you actually enjoy it and have fun and then, maybe, you can do it again.
And sometimes it’s terrible and awful and you want to crawl in a hole and never come out, but, guess what, now you know you can take it and move on. You take a couple of hits and you keep on trucking and that’s an important lesson too.
I try, sometimes not as much as I should, to improve myself in some small way. Sometimes a very small way, but it’s the trying that’s important.
And the occasional success.