Growing Pains

I've been feeling uncomfortable lately. A lot of things are shifting in my life: changes about to occur and decisions about to be made. It's very exciting, the prospect of all to come in 2016, but it's also led to sleepless nights and escapist tendencies (I'm writing from Cameroon on a trip I planned just 3.5 weeks in advance). But what does it all mean? Is the uncomfortable feeling good or is it an indication that I'm trying to do too much?

Landing in Paris at sunrise on our way to Cameroon last week

Landing in Paris at sunrise on our way to Cameroon last week

Two things come to mind: I once heard one of my spiritual leaders say that if you were just sitting comfortably, glowing contentedly with your life, you were not growing as a person. Trying new things, examining where you could do better in your current situation, even just trying to improve your everyday activities is how you grow. I take this to heart because I think my uncomfortable feelings are a sign that I'm improving and fulfilling my potential.

Secondly, I think of a motto I try to live by: do something that terrifies you at least once per year. Not death-defying acts like sky diving, but something that makes you scared because of insecurities. For me, public speaking, teaching, and putting my writing out there all qualify as terrifying acts so 2016 is jam-packed with growing opportunities.

As a planner, not knowing how the future will play out is nerve-wracking. I want to be able to count on future events to mark my year by. 2016 is just not going to be like that, I'm taking risks and doing things that scare me but hopefully it will all be an investment in my future. I started the year by listing all the fears that are trying to guide my actions so that I can recognize where doubt and insecurity is trying to take the wheel instead of my heart. It's something I have been struggling with every day lately. Change is not comfortable and it doesn't happen overnight, but I would rather be trying to improve myself than be paralyzed by fear. We'll see if I have the courage to see all of these decisions through to 2017.