My world is shrinking. On oh so many levels.
Let’s take the fact that online news is micro-targeted.Whatever I klicked on in the past will be determining the future news feeds I will receive. Gone are the days where I searched through newspapers, reading all headlines, and browsing my local bookstore. I do not have time for that. So I think.
Like many others I am relying on online news feeds to provide me with updates. Yes, I have a Facebook account. Yes, I have other blog sites where I am finding my daily reads. Yes, I buy books at Amazon. So, I am confronted often with recommendations based on my previously selected material. Essentially, leading my knowledge building scope limited to what I am already intrigued by or interested in.
Learning something new thus requires me to purposefully get out of my way. It requires me to talk to the people around me. It requires me to actively seek out the unknown. It requires me to actively be aware of my comfort zone and work every day to move out of it just for a little bit to learn something a little different. To broaden my horizon. To avoid getting too comfortable with myself and my opinion.
Because as soon as opinion settles in and you get too comfortable with it, it will become a dogma. Something not easily overcome. If you read just to reconfirm an opinion you already have, you will not learn how to build new knowledge. You will not challenge yourself to rethink situations. You may even repeat mistakes.
My world is shrinking in other means, too.
When I was young. I was a dedicated gymnast. And I brought gymnastics into every small aspect of my life. I would walk on my hands down the driveway when I got home after school. Or I would walk on my hands down the 3m diving board to do a head jump in. This usually got me a lot of recognition from my peers. I could climb trees reasonably fast, and often was the first one trying new climbing tricks on how to get from one tree to the other. I was a little daring, a risk taker, and I usually was not too afraid.
When I turned 17, I noticed that I no longer dared to walk on my hands on the diving board. The fear of what could happen kept me on my feet.
There was this one embarrassing moment when I just had turned 17 and my swim teacher asked: “Who can do a dive from the 3m board?” And of course I raised my hand. Climbed up the ladder… walked to the edge of the board and slowly climbed back down.
Last week I was on vacation.
Mind you I am not an avid skiier. This was just the second time in my life I ever even tried. I grew up poor, did not have any mountains near by, and just never could afford or find the time to ski. So, a few years ago the opportunity came up, and I skied.
Last week, I did not dare to go on the lift by myself, because I could not remember what to do to get off. This was not a particularly easy lift, but nevertheless, for someone who dared to jump from one tree to the other without preparation when she was 12 a small panic attack because of a “ski lift unknown” is pretty embarrassing.
My world and experience level is shrinking because of fear of height and speed. I am overthinking potential issues and accidents and I am holding myself back because of it. People fall victim to their own comfortableness all the time. They get too comfortable with who they are, what they think, what they know and how they do things. They forget to learn something new or to challenge themselves. They forget to progress.
This made me realize one thing: I for sure do not want to stagnate and get comfortable. I want to be challenged and challenge myself.
From now on I will actively pursue the unknown and dare myself to do something I do not find comfortable or easy. I will challenge myself to something new as often as I can.
I refuse to let the world and opportunities shrink.