I have a confession: I really don’t like trying new things. I mean I usually end up liking something new, but beforehand, I hate that nervous, anxious feeling that comes with uncertainty.
Take tonight for example. I am playing in a volleyball game as part of a new league I joined. I haven’t played in five years and I don’t know a single person on my team, so I’m sort of terrified of totally embarrassing myself.
What if I’m so out of shape from pregnancy that I can’t keep up? What if I’m a total outsider among these groups of established friends? What if someone spikes a ball and it hits my face and busts my recently operated-on nose (my doc gave me clearance to play if I “am smart”)?
All these fears are running through my head currently and part of me wishes I could just bail out, hide at home and do what I am familiar and comfortable with.
But a bigger part of me knows that playing volleyball is something I once loved to do. And that I need to do some things just for myself for a change. And that maybe I’ll meet some new friends. And find a new way to get fit that doesn’t involve mindless hours at the gym.
So I’m forcing myself to face the uncertainty and go.
I’ve had this sort of challenge many times in my life – sometimes big “should I quit my job to try to freelance?” and sometimes small “should I call that new friend and ask her to hang out?” – and I always try to err on the side of putting myself out there and at least trying. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but I feel like I usually come out on the other side feeling more confident.
The truth is life would probably be easier if I just avoided uncertain situations, but it would probably also be void of growth and development, and one of my personal values is to never stop learning. About the world. About myself. About life.
So while I can’t stand the way my palms will sweat when I walk into the gym tonight, I am always looking forward to seeing where this challenge takes me.