On Getting Over Myself

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." -Molière

Hello. My name is Ana. I'm 15 years old, and I'm a chronic over-thinker and second-guesser.

"Well, maybe I shouldn't do that..." "That's a pretty big commitment. Maybe I should think about it a little more." "What if I fail and look stupid?!?!" "Should I really have said that? Now they'll all think I'm an idiot." "Maybe I should have gone with something else..." "But what if it goes wrong?" 

That's what it's like inside my head every time I'm faced with a decision, just made a decision, speak aloud, think about speaking aloud... Yeah, a lot of the time. 

And the sad thing is that I do this with silly, inconsequential things, too. Ordering from menus, for instance. I have a terrible time ordering food. There's the pressure of trying to pick just one thing out of a long list of options, and the added pressure of knowing that someone is waiting on you! 

Once I've finally ordered, then comes the second-guessing. I agonize over whether I'm actually going to like what I ordered. I think about something else I might have ordered instead, and make up my mind that I would have been better off getting that one. But obviously it's too late, so I just do my best to stop thinking about it.

Now, most of the time, this over-thinking and second-guessing is just annoying. It makes me a little anxious when buying something or ordering at a restaurant, but other than that, it's not too big of a deal.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking also attempts to rob me of really exciting experiences like auditioning for a play, going up and talking to someone, or posting on my blog. It wants me to stay safely trapped within my comfort zone, and to decide that the risk just isn't worth it.

The other day, I found out about something called 31 Days

For anyone who doesn't know (which, if we're honest, is probably most people), 31 Days is a writing challenge for bloggers to choose just one topic and write a post about that topic every day in October. At the beginning of the month, all of the bloggers participating put up a link on the 31 Days website so you can see all of the different blogs participating.

When I first heard about it inadvertently through the blog Cranberry Tea Time, I knew it was something I wanted to try. It's ambitious, completely different from anything I've ever done before, and inspires you to get more involved in something.

At first, I was really psyched about it. I read through nearly all of the information on their website, checked out a couple of the blog entries from last year, and started prepping for my own participation.

And then... I started thinking. 

Way. too. much.

About all of the reasons why I shouldn't do it. 

"Well, you're sick, so you'll probably end up missing days." "You only blog a few days a month, so why would you think you could ever come up with a blog a day for a month?!" "You're way too busy for that." "It's silly."  "This is a huge commitment, and you're somewhat of a commitment-phobe."

I hadn't completely committed yet, so I didn't have to do it. I could still decide not to.

But I knew that if I didn't do it, I was going to regret it. After all, 31 Days only comes around once a year. I could technically decide to write every day for a month any month of the year, but it wouldn't be the same if I didn't even try. It's not a crisis if I do miss a day. And I would definitely regret not trying at all more than I would regret missing a few posts.

So I've decided I'm going to get over myself and just do it.

And while I know it's not a huge deal in the long run, it feels like a little victory over all the doubt, anxiety, and fear.

I haven't quite made up my mind what my "31 Days of ____" will be, but I'm working on figuring out the details. Be sure to keep an eye out for more updates on my progress. 

If you want to read more about 31 Days and how to get involved, check out this page- What Is 31 Days? Be sure to let me know if you decide to join in!

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