I’m being pushed out of my comfort zone and well, it’s uncomfortable. I exist happily walking around Esquina with a water pitcher, conceiving a new dessert combination, or behind a cash register talking with customers. But, hunched over a calculator and computer…that’s a different story entirely. I can actually feel my blood pressure elevate like I am taking a final exam that counts for half my grade. I hate not feeling as though I am not equipped to handle a situation or task.
So I was comforted and encouraged by a post by the author Gretchen Rubin (“The Happiness Project”) on her blog about enjoying the fun of failure. I can recognize that my reluctance to tackle a new job or task is often wrapped up with the nagging fear that I won’t do it well. So to give myself permission to try, not knowing what the results will be, is liberating. It doesn’t necessarily lower my blood pressure as I approach the new accounting software, but it reassures me that I can benefit from this experience nevertheless.
My nine year old daughter had the first softball game of her life last night. She was nervous before, as she has little experience with the game, and I was so proud of her for pushing out of her comfort zone (ballet and theater) to try something new. As I was watching the game, a flood of long-buried memories from my one season on a softball team surfaced – mostly in terms of the expressions that are shouted out. “Good hustle”, “Got a piece of it”, “Good eye”, and so on. I remember the coaches telling us that even George Brett struck out, which we would remind each other when it happened to us.
And even now, as I think about stretching my abilities at work, I think there is a certain wisdom in the baseball sentiment – “At least you went down swinging.”