Thursday, May 2, 2013


Have you ever walked into a room and felt like you didn’t belong?

Have you ever been asked to do a task you have never done and your pat answer is “I don’t know how?”

Have you ever gone to a new school and felt out of place?

Have you ever felt bored to the point you keep doing the same things over and over because you really don’t know what else to do? 

Have you ever woken up and asked “Is this all there is?”

Have you avoided international travel because you don’t speak the language or you feel like you won’t fit in?


Most people look at all of the above and think of all these issues as a negative thing.  They end up getting paralyzed within their own lives because they are afraid to be a duck out of water, different, stand out, and because they don’t blend in, or are out of their comfort zone element.

Think back to when you were a child.  When you picked up a pencil did you automatically know how to do fractions?   When you picked up a book, did you automatically know how to read?   When you took your first steps as a baby, were you automatically galloping, skipping, doing the splits  and dancing?   If you picked up a guitar, could you automatically play your favorite song?   

The answer is no.  You learned by way of the experience.  And you learned by getting out of your comfort zone.   When you were a child you did not expect to be a perfectionist right away. You enjoyed the process of learning in steps as you went along.

When you went to school, you went to Kindergarten, first grade, second grade and so on.  You went to high school before you went to college.

So why are you automatically expecting yourself to be perfect when you try something new?  

Why do you feel you have to immediately ‘fit in’ or ‘belong’ and why do you out of habit, allow yourself to be bored instead of taking up a new hobby or learning a new craft or skill? 

It is because you are afraid of not doing something right or perfect or well and you fear failure?  Why put this expectation on yourself?  Aren’t you preventing yourself from living life fully and taking in the opportunity of being a ‘duck out of water’ as a new, exciting, thrilling, and exhilarating experience?   Haven’t you automatically assumed you are not good at something or won’t be, and aren’t you already judging yourself without even having tried it?

The solution to all this is to stop automatic behaviors and recognize them as they are happening.  Why can’t you learn to be good at baseball at 50?    Why can’t you learn to knit, even though you are only 22 years old and not your grandmother’s age?    Why can’t you help your sister plan a wedding even if you are not married yourself or have never planned a wedding before? 

Get the picture?   We often don’t know what we are made of until we try.  And if we do not give ourselves the opportunity to try and automatically assume we will fail without attempting to try, how  will we really know?   Aren’t we just creating a problem instead of actually creating a solution? 

Take the time to do things in steps.  Be patient with yourself as you learn.  Stay open-minded about learning new things or trying new things. Allow yourself the learning curve necessary to get the hang of things. Laugh at yourself and have fun.  No one is grading you or testing you on any of this.

And remember that you’re supposed to have fun when you try oil painting for the first time or take that first dance class even if you’ve never done a waltz before… you might actually enjoy yourself!

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It

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