BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

Do What Feels Dangerous

What keeps you from changing?

Why do you keep doing the same things over and over again, even though they’ve proven they prevent progress?

In a word: danger.

The known feels safe; the unknown feels dangerous.

And it’s human nature to protect yourself before anything else.

What feels safe to me is doing nothing. I love it. I’d even go as far as admitting that, on some level, I’m addicted to it.

When I’m sitting on the couch, watching “Seinfeld” syndication or any other mindless preoccupation, I’m completely out of harm’s way. I’m impervious to embarrassment and inadequacy and failure.

There’s a high in knowing there won’t be any lows.

That high, of course, is temporary, and is always followed by even lower lows.

I know I should break this cycle by doing the opposite, by doing what I know will help, be it writing, exercising, journaling, meditating, or going to improv class.

But too often I resist, like a little kid screaming, “I don’t wanna!” when told to eat his vegetables, because I’m intimidated by the threat of those endeavors — the threat of making mistakes, of not knowing what to do, of screwing up, of falling flat on my face.

And thus, I remain committed to doing nothing, despite it yielding nothing.

Thankfully, this commitment is weakening. It’s happening slower than I’d like, but it is happening, as I’m starting to find the energy and resolve to get myself moving.

And though doing so still feels dangerous, the more I do it, the more I realize that the true danger is in always playing it safe.

*****

This article originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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