I heard once that it is necessary to live unbalanced in order to be balanced. Although some would say to just “trust your instincts”, I find that following instincts often hinders me from tapping into qualities that those natural instincts do not trigger. I end up living somewhat lopsided in the qualities that come natural to me. If I am outgoing I will always feed my charisma and approachable quality, if I am unorganized and spontaneous I will highlight my flexibility and willingness to change. Although I see the benefit in highlighting my positive attributes I also think that is important to go the opposite way and at times overemphasize attributes that I currently lack. With some aspects in our life it is necessary to counter our destructive habits with extreme actions/inactions that go completely against our instincts. This scene with George Costanza came to mind while I was chatting with a friend about this topic yesterday.
GEORGE COSTANZA – The Opposite
I wouldn’t say that this is the most healthy method in curing toxic characteristics, but we all have to admit the courage involved in this approach. It sure isn’t mediocre nor is it passive, and sometimes in life we need to act now, we need to push the envelope in dealing with our pride, fears, insecurities and our need for approval.
I heard recently that psychologists have now found it harmful to cure phobias by placing individuals amidst their most fearful situations. It pretty much means that sticking a young girl who is scared of spiders in box filled with them is not the most effective remedy, and I think we can all agree with that.
However, there is a great wealth of inspiration and hope that results from viewing our fears and deficiencies from a new light. And often times the only way to change your angle is to dive into an unknown realm, a space that in most cases are uncomfortable, unnatural and for a lack of better words ‘scary’. For some, who find themselves always lacking courage, that realm may force you to speak up to those you disagree with, for others, whose opinions are usually heard a mile away, that foreign realm may demand silence and restraint. Many will need to step into the deep end, some may feel the need to speak in front of the class, others might have to start dating again, whatever positions you in a place of fresh perspective will help you overcome.
I echo my friend who writes at the end of every email “Do something everyday that scares you!”or my other buddy that tells me that “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” It could help to occasionally take moments to swing to the opposite side of the pendulum to see what we look like from the other side.