Day 19: Why are we so afraid to try new things?

My 500 Words

As I set out to write my day 19 post, I was wondering why so many of us are afraid of trying new things. So, to set things off, I just googled this very question to see what came up. Psychology Today claimed spot number 1 on google. According to this blog post, studies show that people fear outcomes that are uncertain more than they fear outcomes that they know will be bad. The unknown of a new situation is what we fear. Trying something new can cause us to grow and to change, and change is never easy. I wonder if what we feel when we try something new is the loss of an old self, the pain of transition, and the fear of an unknown, uncertain future. This doesn’t seem to go through our minds at the time, but I personally enjoy the poetic possibility.

Today, I decided to cook up some sweet potatoes on the stove along with cauliflower florets just to have some veggies at hand for meals this week. I was filled with SO many concerns and fears. I think about doing this sample kind of task all of the time, and I overthink it every time, usually abandoning the effort altogether. I have never been super comfortable in the kitchen. When I cook with someone else that fancies themselves a good cook, the experience elicits a lot of negative feelings. In my experience, someone sees how I am cutting a vegetable, holding my hand, or doing something else that a more experienced cook wouldn’t do, and I am shamed. I can honestly blame others for a lot of this. If I am going to burn something, let me burn it! Especially if you aren’t eating it and no one and no structure is going to get hurt in the process! More times than I like to admit, I have let situations that cause me to shrink away from a fuller, bigger, better life. I think many of us have.

Alas, in this case, I did decide to cook up the food I wanted to cook. I was alone, and it was really enjoyable. I loved it in all honesty. If I hadn’t been alone or if I thought someone else might eat it, I might not have done it. How sad is that! The food tasted really good to me, and I felt proud that I made enough food for the week and that it was food that I wanted to eat, regardless of whether someone else wanted to eat it. Sometimes I find it hard to focus on me, as I have mentioned in previous posts.

Lately, though, I have been working hard to prioritize myself and my wants. I don’t answer the phone if I am doing something I care about, and I don’t stop everything I am doing to nurture a relationship that might not do the same for me. I am also on week 6 of a workout program, and I haven’t missed a day! So, I am not perfect at this point, but I am getting better. And my sweet potato magic of this evening is just one more drop in the bucket!

Day 13: Do You Plan Your Posts?

My 500 Words, Professional

Today, I spent a lot of time thinking about my goals, or rather my big, audacious dreams. I am maniacal about my personal information upload and try to cram most moments into brain updates of some kind. Today, I did a lot of that. One podcast I used to accomplish this was by The Life Coach School about setting impossible goals. It builds off the Tony Robbins idea that you need to change your beliefs of what is possible to achieve what was previously thought of as impossible. It resonated. So many dreams that I have yearned for in my life were buried because I thought they were impossible for me…that I could never even come close to achieving them. Crazy! If only I knew how pliable our universe is and how my biggest impediment to achievement was that very thought. Ugh…C’est la vie.

On day 1 of this challenge, I thought it was all a bit of a stretch…that I probably wouldn’t think of a way to write 500 words each day. Now, I am like…”hmph…500 words is pretty doable actually.” How sad to think I could have quit right away…and likely probably already have a trillion times before. Perhaps my first product will be some kind of challenge that anyone looking to smash those limiting beliefs. If you have a belief or an impossibility that makes accomplishing your dreams impossible, share it with me. It would be nice to know I am not alone out here! I am even thinking about starting a podcast. They are my favorite media, and it could be fun to get involved. Do you listen to podcasts?

I digress! I am thinking that I want to add one more feature to this challenge. I want to add an outline of each post…to get in the habit of thinking about what I am going to write before I do it. It might be kind of ridiculous to do this, but I want to get a better idea for how I can optimize my personal writing process. If that means that writing an outline will help, then I want to start doing that! I have gotten comfortable in the past 13 days (only 13 days, gasp!) with pumping out 500 crappy words. But, I want to add a little challenge, without abandoning my current goal of 500 words for 31 days. I will start (and finish!) the edX course “The Writing Process” that is offered by Berkeley through the awesome education platform. I think the course is an undergraduate, introductory level, but I haven’t taken a class like this in years, so I think it will be beneficial. I am also planning to take what I learn and apply it to my new goal to add an outline of my blog post and attach it for the next 18 days. My assumption is that it will improve the content and the flow with just a bit more effort…I look forward to seeing how it all shakes out!

One of my favorite sayings has always been, “trust the process.” What I will do instead is test the process and see if it makes things better 😊.

 

 

 

Day 7: Hypnotic Happiness

My 500 Words

Here I am on day 7 of the My500Word challenge! It has only been 7 days and approximately 4,000 words, but I have found this to be equal parts fun and challenging. Do you ever feel like you are just desperate to stay busy, to quiet your chaotic mind? Sometimes I feel like this is the source of much of my so-called ambition. I appear to the world as a calm, collected person, and for the most part, this is true. Inside my mind though, ideas are churning constantly and if I don’t have an outlet for this, I can grow very restless. This tends to manifest as either a compulsive outward need for activity or an inward drive for stimulation, which often means alone time. However, I am not really an introvert. I do need a certain amount of social interaction in order to feel like my best self, but balancing my need for internal stimulation and my need for company and socializing has proven to be difficult for me.

I write this in my last year of my 20s with no current solution, except to maybe try to avoid my need to compulsively seek outward stimulation to quiet my mind…at least to avoid it in any damaging manner. I feel more satisfied and alive when I have that balance between interaction with the world and interaction with my soul. Maybe in the end this is how we all feel. Maybe I am not so unique in this. And, if that is the case, what ideas do you have? Have you managed this yourself? I would love some advice as I feel this is a weak area of my life, knowing which part of myself to prioritize and when.

I admit that I did not want to write this post, tonight. I actually debated and decided (🙀) to skip tonight, as I reasoned my soul needed a rest. Simultaneously, I wondered where my life was going and why I was spending time sitting on the couch watching the tele… THEN, my sweet, bedtime-loving boyfriend went to sleep well before 8:30 PM. All of the sudden, I knew I would have some totally alone time to write this post, and I knew I would post it. Why am I so stuck when it comes to alone vs social time? How can I better manage this internal struggle? My relationship with my fella and all of my personal relationships are VERY important to me, in fact the most important to me. Maybe this is why I struggle. I prioritize family, friends, and personal relationship development over everything, including me and my alone time. I am certainly a priority, but it seems like I am #2 (at least). I see this in many areas of my life. I stop what I am doing to fit others’ schedules and fill in the gaps with things for me. I am not sure how I feel about this. Is this a healthy and normal reality of life, albeit difficult? This is something I will have to mull over for a few days.

I will find a YouTube video with constant affirmations for 20+ minutes and ponder this, while I attempt to hypnotize myself with positivity. I have a good feeling about, but it could be the positive affirmation juice I have been drinking. I can do anything. Great things keep happening to me. It’s crazy and awesome how many great things keep happening to me.