I am a self-described homebody. I enjoy social gatherings and getting out, but I always look forward to coming home. Within five minutes of pulling into the garage, I am in sweats and a T-shirt. My demeanor immediately softens. Home is familiar, and in familiarity I find safety.
Sometimes, safety is a duality. My health challenges have dictated I stay home more often than most. I relish the space I have created. Sometimes a little too much. I tend to pass on things because they are outside of my comfort zone. In my experience, however, living begins where your comfort zone ends.
I am walking the line.
Our comfort zones keep us complacent, but our fears keep us imprisoned. If we stay in the dark long enough, we begin to expect nothing more. Challenge your timidity with hopeful light and possibilities. Only when we leverage our fears do we discover our true selves. Only then are we truly free.
If you are walking the line, step to the other side. Do not think, just step. Cognitive change follows action steps. Take a leap of faith.
I grew up with a love of traveling. Whether with family, with friends, or alone, I loved getting immersed in new places. One of my best friends in high school was a German exchange student. Some of our best moments were spent sojourning through countries in Europe. Once I got married, my husband and I continued to enjoy new and exciting adventures. My MS diagnosis and subsequent progression have changed things. While we still travel, our destinations are to three or four places I know well; family, family-owned homes, and timeshares. My comfort zones.
So, when my mom asked me to join her on a 10-day cruise, I froze. This was outside of my comfort zone. As my fear began to rise, I took that leap of faith. I said “yes.”
I understand how this decision could be easy for some. Easy is not my reality. My reality has been preconditioned and reinforced over time. Only I can recondition that reality. Taking positive action steps paves the way for new behaviors to follow.
What fears keep you from getting to “yes?” What are your fears founded on, and when is the last time you ran inventory on them?
When I find myself feeling that uneasy hesitation, I do inventory. I take stock of my fears. I write them on a sheet of paper, then ascertain the origin of each one and examine the influence that each one is having on my life. I have always been a visual learner, so working through my fears on paper helps me tremendously. I used to earn extra money as a paid student note taker. The University of California, Irvine, would buy my class notes so they could sell them to other students. I sort of nerd out on note-taking.
So many fears are perceived, yet if perception is reality, what then? We shift our perception, and thus, change our reality. We free ourselves, little by little, from the chains that keep us from soaring. We are limitless in our potential to create and fulfill possibilities. What a juxtaposition that we are also limitless in our ability to deny ourselves that realization.
You are straddling the line. Choose “yes.”
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
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