I started a new non-fiction / self-improvement book the other day… okay, last week. But I’ve been finding myself a little unenthusiastic to get into it.
Does that ever happen to you with books? (Or with life?) You choose a book – or you choose to do a thing – and then you let yourself get distracted, or you procrastinate seemingly for no reason.
I know this is going to be a good book. I know the insights and information within its pages are going to benefit me and help me think of new things, or think about old things in new ways. Yet I’m holding myself back from reading it and learning from it.
At first, I was blaming my reluctance to dive in on the ol’ “book hangover” from the last novel I read – Mules, Knaves, and Close Shaves. (You know, a book hangover – where you get so attached to the characters and the plot of the book you just finished that your mind and emotions couldn’t possible open up to anything new?!) Well… I let enough time pass, and now it couldn’t possibly be that.
No this… this is something more. I think I’m nervous or something. As with any non-fiction there’s going to be things to learn from in there. And as with any “self-improvement” material, there’s going to be the need to recognize and accept the fact that there are things that need to be improved. And, while I don’t always feel hesitant to explore that kind of thing about myself, I think I am right now.
Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we hold ourselves back from things?
“The only thing that holds you back from getting what you want is paying attention to what you don’t want.” – Abraham Hicks
I think a little of it has to do with breaking out of our comfort zones. I was getting all cozy in my reading life with a string of wonderful fiction books, and now I’m trying to direct myself back into my pattern of alternating between reading about made up stories, and reading books that could help me to grow and learn.
Not that there’s anything wrong with fiction books – heavens no! – I just think it’s good for you to expand your mind and broaden your scope.
And not that there’s anything wrong with comfort zones, either! I have gotten very comfortable in certain areas of my life and I don’t plan on changing them any time soon, thank you very much!
But when you want to break out of your comfort zone… why is it so hard?
The irony behind this entire post, of course is that the book I’m trying to read is going to answer this question for me. I know that because the book is about the power of vulnerability. And the reason why so many people stay in their comfort zones I think, is because they are afraid of being vulnerable.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” – Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
It’s uncomfortable to acknowledge the things you need to change, or the things in your life that can be improved. It’s uncomfortable to do something hard, even when you know it will pay off later. It would be a lot easier to scroll Facebook, or watch Netflix than it would be to open that book and put your mind to good use.
But you have to do the hard things. You have to. And you’d might as well do them sooner than later or else eventually, you’ll be even more uncomfortable than when you started.
Anyways… I’m gonna dive in. Tonight! I’m gonna focus on the book and not let myself get distracted by more comfortable things, not even Pinterest!
What are you putting off? Do you think you can move past your comfort zone?
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