Have you ever stopped in the middle of something and asked yourself, "What the heck am I doing? Why am I doing it this way? Whose crazy idea was this anyway?" I have. I am. Jumping outside of my usual day-to-day paradigm I'm challenging myself in a myriad of ways. I have achieved some successes and have suffered some failures. And my time outside of my comfort zone is only just beginning!
When you first step outside of your paradigm, you are constantly challenged by everything that's new. Pride, fear of failure and humility are your constant companions. Spurring yourself along by sheer determination, you press on. Faced with new challenges you will yourself to continue. Feeling that something is "beneath" you, you suck it up and realize that nothing is beneath you. You press on. Humbling yourself, you ask for help, learn from people you thought you could teach a thing or two to, and you realize that in this life, we are all afraid of failure. Conquering the pride that keeps us isolated, you appreciate the grace with which your requests are met. When your requests aren't met gracefully, you are thankful that you had the wherewithall to reach out and ask because you still learned something. A little lesson in humility goes a long way.
Still - you learn things about yourself that are often in stark contrast with the idea that you previously had of yourself. You gaze into that mirror of self-realization and you do not like what you see. You wonder who you really are. You look at where you are in life and you try to peer down the road into the future and ask yourself what you are supposed to be doing now.
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I've grown up hearing that saying, that platitude, that catch phrase that gets bantied about to basically tell people to grow up, get over it, make the best of things. Life is hard and we are all going to be in constant contact with lemons whether we like it or not. The real choice is not whether or not you are going to make lemonade, but whether you have enough internal resources to make that lemonade sweet.
And for me, that remains to be seen.