When I first saw the swimming pool, I was excited. I didn't know such things existed. I laid a towel on one of the chaise lounges, claiming it for my own and settling into my space. Being surrounded by other swimmers was calming and unifying. Look! Everyone else is wearing a swimsuit, too! I began to feel less self-conscious, and more sure of myself.
It wasn't long, however, before the idea came that I might stick my toe in the water. You know, just to check the temperature - I didn't have to get in the water completely, but I should at least see if the water felt as good as so many said it did. Scared as I was, I pushed myself to try it anyway. Just a toe. No splashes or waves.
Hey, this is pretty great!
But what if I let myself try more than a toe? The risk; the fear reared its head. What if I can't swim? What if the water doesn't feel right? Could I immerse myself fully without feeling lost? Before I could answer those questions, I had slid in.
And the water was wonderful. It felt like home.
But then - then! That huge, intimidating diving board. It frightened me - what if I can't dive? What if everyone else before me in line can do it effortlessly, while I struggle to even keep my balance? What if I fall? Terror vibrated throughout my body, and fear began to paralyze me.
But while the rest of me fought the very idea, a tiny voice broke through with just a whisper that began to crescendo to full-scale shouting: "JUST TRY IT".
As it turns out, I can dive just fine - a beginner, no doubt, but a diver. I felt exhilarated; renewed; as though I had purpose.
And once I plunged into the water I was terrified once again, because now I saw that the pool was an ocean and despite my best efforts I would likely never feel entirely at ease again. I knew the water around me, but who knew what lurked in other corners. I could never know what would lie ahead. I'd never be able to explore it all.
But I could try. And trying is the best part, really.
I've been making a habit of pushing myself out of my comfort zone - which results in a near-constant state of being excerrified (that would be simultaneously "excited" and "terrified") - because that's where the magic happens, right? Each and every time I've been pleased (afterwards) that I tried or did whatever that thing was that seemed so daunting in the beginning, and so I will continue to push myself in ways that help me be better - whatever "better" means for that situation.
What sort of things are you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to do? Does the idea seem as scary up front to you as it often does to me?