20 April 2009

Leaping

"Always do what you are afraid to do." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Looking Down, Las Olas Bridge

Tomorrow I am doing something that scares me.  I'm leaping out of my comfort zone to make the first steps in joining a volunteer design collaborative where I don't know a soul.  Although I technically work in the design field, I do space planning and facilities type work, more than actual design.  I've been out of school for 6 years, and feel slightly rusty.  Dare I say I even feel small.  I want to do something that I enjoy donating my time and energy to, and something that can help me grow as a designer as well.

And I want to give back to the community of Philadelphia that has given me so much ice cream and water ice, even though it's broken into my car twice...
Lemon Hill

I was a platform diver, have jumped out of airplane, went on a Habitat for Humanity spring break trip without knowing anyone, was selected as the foreman for my jury duty, have had my heart broken, and made the security guard who made me cry become my friend.  But I'm scared of looking a little rusty?!  I know.  Below is a reminder to myself of an intimidating situation that ended up being completely empowering.  

Habitat For Humanity

I know it's kind of silly, but if I can admit it here, I can realize it's ridiculous.  Tell me, what are your tips for pushing yourself to do things that intimidate you?

21 comments:

Nadia said...

I try to remember that there is actually no possible way to fail. You might get an unexpected experience or outcome, but just by doing, just by getting out there, you're gonna learn something, grow somehow.

Plus, if you do something spectacularly embarrassing, it will make good blog fodder. ;P

Liz said...

I totally agree with Nadia, and I will also say that I ask my most trusted friends to stand by while I do something scary, because I may need to have my hand held and be told I am brave and capable and then have them list all the other scary things that I have overcome. They have to be friends tho that won't tell you that you are silly to be scared, that doesn't work so well... oh, and cool volunteer work!

Caitlin said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing this! I'm not always so good at jumping out of my comfort zone, but I've found that actually signing up for something, or taking a step that commits me makes it a lot harder to chicken out. Like the BYW class--that was a bit of a stretch for me. It sounds like that's what your doing tomorrow? Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Danielle said...

You go girl. It's hard taking that first step but amazingly worth while once you take the leap.

Jess said...

Mariss,

I have to really think about my answer to your question because I've done a lot of things that others find difficult or would require more strength than they perceive themselves to have.

Usually if it's so hard that others fear it, I have done it because I had no choice in the matter. So that's not too helpful here really. But I guess in a way it is about choice, along with a little perspective.

I use a yardstick-into-the-future kind of mental trick sometimes: would I regret doing (or not doing) this in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? Or reverse psychology of sorts, "what is the worst that will happen?"

Sometimes that just breaks the mental barriers enough to make that next step, however large or small it may be...

I am proud of you and will look forward to an update!

kat said...

Great post. I just buck up and do it. Telling myself that it will be ok whether I do well or not. Life is short. Life goes on.

I think it's natural to be a bit nervous and to feel scared when doing something new. Being out of your comfort zone is good. Your track record has revealed, that not only do you do well when you are out of your comfort zone, you actually succeed :) Good luck. I know you will wow'em.

Jacqueline said...

Im loving this post!! I agree with the others..it's only natural to feel nervous and scared when we are doing something totally new. I usually keep telling myself that it will be ok and everything is gonna be alright. Take deep breath..close my eyes and screen in my head "Just do it!"

Best of luck!! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

PrincessPea said...

I actually try and live by that Waldo Emmerson quote. My theory is, that if we do nothing but the comfortable stuff, then the comfortable stuff contracts over time, and we end up with smaller and smaller lives. We need to do the scary stuff to keep life vibrant and wide open.

Which is all very well in theory! When I'm crapping myself about having to do something scary I tend to do what you did here. Remember the scariest things I have done before and remember how well I dealt with them.

Good for you for volunteering!

Laura said...

A little empathy can be a surprise source of confidence. Put yoursef in the other volunteers' shoes if possible. They probably feel rusty, too!

And I agre with Kat, Life is Short!! No one is keeping score except maybe you.

Mariss said...

Thank you guy for letting for your tips and encouragement. The meeting went fine, and I really enjoyed myself. It definitely left me feeling inspired and refreshed.

xoxo, Mariss

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

Shoot, I'm right there with you, I've been told I'm teaching my first yoga class on May 16! I've never even said the words, know it in my head like second nature, but the instructions have never passed over my lips.

Heather said...

Act as though it is impossible to fail - you can do anything you put your mind to. With toes to suck on like that, you'll be a super star! (Ryan Golub...or whoever told you that in high school...not me)! Love ya, Heather

Robin said...

You never know what's going to happen unless you try. My theory is the worst that can happen is it doesn't work out. What I mean is, you may not like the people, or the type of design work, etc., but the key thing is you tried it. You are no worse off for doing it and, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out, you really like it and meet some great new folks.

I've gone on a 3-week vacation with a group of people I had never met. I figured that the worst that could happen is I don't like anyone, but I would still get to see that part of the world. I think this type of thing is far easier than jumping out of a plane or off a bridge. I'd join a design collective any day to avoid doing those things! (and I'm not a designer)

Jamie Watson said...

You are so awesome and brave! And so is everyone else!

One thing I do is take a bird's eye view of my life like I'm looking down from the sky and I see myself down there living life, and I think - oh, that's pretty easy and it's kind of funny too. No matter what, it's all just kind of funny, and smiles. Smiles help a lot.

fresh365 said...

Wow! That sounds really exciting! I always find it hard to step out of my comfort zone, but some of the best things happen when you do I think. There is another Emerson quite I love as well, "when I come to die, I do not want to discover that I have not lived". Good Luck!

Nuria Iglesias said...

When I'm frightened to face something or someone, I think about things that make me happy and really matter, like knitting or the people I love or things that give me comfort (i.e. I picture myself in my bed surrounded with all my pillows and the smell of new sheets). That really works for me. My mind reaches a state where I understand that nothing can really hurt me, because within myself there is silence and peace.

That Girl Designs said...

Good for you! You will have to tell us all about it. You have a really fun blog here! And wonderful illustrations and knits. Thanks for visiting me. See you around BYW class.

meg said...

It is great that you're giving back to the community, Philadelphia is a great place and worth your time for sure.

I always feel most intimidated in the field I've been trained in- fine arts, painting. It seems like the more I know about your field, the more I realize I should know *far* more than I do, and then I meet other artists whom I assume know all of the things I don't know, and then I quake in my boots. Nothing to do for it but show up, do the best you can, and then realize that you are actually quite good at design anyway, and it will all shake out fine.

fresh365 said...

Oops is another Thoreau quote, I mean- not Emeerson!

Alexandra said...

Wowee zowee....Mariss this is amazing (also, hello....platform diver? airplanes? you sound like an incredible lady!!). This is going to be such an exciting leap for you. So inspirational. And like one of the other commenters said, its like the BYW class. I feel like it was the catalyst for all of us to do more, reach higher. Bravo lady! Can't wait to read more about your adventures.

sulu-design said...

I was so proud of you to read this post! Good for you for putting yourself out there. I very rarely do it myself, but every several years or so, I feel the need to do something ridiculous and scary just to prove to myself that I can. I'm really impressed and inspired by you. Looking forward to hearing what comes of this.
And poo on Philly for those break-ins.