I was telling a friend about what was going on in my life and summed up with: “So, typical for me, I’m waaaay out of my comfort zone and in way over my head.”
His reply, with delicious facetiousness: “That’s awesome!“ And it is. It really is. And when I think about it, it’s a state I find myself in about 40% of the time. Hurling myself into some intriguing and overwhelming challenge – flailing and complaining and wondering what the hell I’ve done. The other 40% of the time I’m bored and uninspired and wishing for more challenge in my life. Those of you who’ve been following since Day 1 will have seen that flip happen once already.
For some brief sweet spot of time, I can enjoy a bit of “Yeah baby!” as I’m on the verge of competence, feeling good about what I’ve accomplished – a challenge I’m succeeding at. That might make up about 20% of my life experience, the rest of the time I’m either in over my head or kicking dust looking for the next deep end to dive into.
You think I’d complain less 80% of the time. I clearly like living this way, I choose it over and over again. I learn a lot from this, grow a lot, suss out my weaknesses and work on them. But it ain’t comfy, for all I get out of it, it doesn’t deliver much on comfort and security.
I love Pema Chödrön’s book Comfortable with Uncertainly. Aside from a great collection of readings, I love the philosophy: life is uncertain, get used to it. I’ve been really insecure lately, having no confidence in what I’m doing or how accepting other people are of who I am and what I’m offering. But while out walking today I realized like being comfortable with uncertainty, I’m surprisingly secure in my insecurity.
I may not have much confidence in what I’m doing, but I have every confidence I’ll handle my lack of confidence. I’ve been here before (Lots! See Escape Velocity – Orbit!). I know how it goes, I know how to just keep at it until the confidence comes. Then I’ll get to enjoy a wee bit of “Yeah baby!” before the boredom and stagnation set in and I start fussing about that.
Waaaaaay out of my comfort zone, secure in my insecurity, I’m right where I want to be.