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Old 01-16-2017, 02:10 PM
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Action

Inspired by a thought from another thread...

I'm very introspective by nature. I love to reflect and think things through. But one thing I have learnt from recovery...action is undoubtedly the path to growth.

Stopping drinking helped me in ways I couldn't understand at the time. It was certainly painful and took a leap of faith but things only really changed when I steeled myself and jumped in.

Since then I have thought about, talked about and reflected on thousands of other things from what I would have for breakfast to what I should do with my life to why I am how I am, the root cause of codependancy, how to master the art of listening, and why I could stop drinking but I can't stop smoking. Every time I have learnt more, at a gut level of true understanding, by action than I could by talking, Reading and listening.

I tried something new last weekend. I've always been on the anxious side when it comes to talking to strangers and making conversation. I went to a group that does "Street exercises"...handed me a clipboard and sent me out to ask strangers embarrassing and intimate things about themselves. The asking, I had zero problem with. The approaching...asking people to stop and talk to me...painfully, painfully hard. I learnt more about myself in those two hours than I have from years of contemplation. It's a different kind of understanding...I dunno...maybe there is a feeling that you can attach to the emotion or the knowledge.

Anyhoo...action. That's what it's all about. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

P
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:16 PM
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Makes a lot of sense. Exposure is the only way to get over fear and anxiety. You can not simply stop at an intellectual understanding that the thing you're afraid of won't hurt you. You have to go and do what scares you, and find out through experience that it does not hurt you.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:39 PM
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Well, I don't even want to comment on

That "street exercise" is interesting. I think I would have less problem approaching people than "asking embarrassing and intimate things about themselves". Could do the opposite much more easily, I think: answer embarrassing and intimate things about myself.

I had a period when I gave myself tasks to make small talk with random strangers in stores or in the elevator (=situations that I would not normally think inspiring for approaching people). I had no serious issues doing it when I decided it was something I wanted to pursue for a specific reason (i.e. to test and challenge myself) but definitely did not feel comfortable and I felt a very strong pull of a characteristic avoidance reaction.

I do agree it's good to challenge ourselves to get out of our comfort zone in various ways and observe how we handle it. It can indeed be a goldmine of information learning about ourselves.

I personally think both action and introspection/reflection can be great paths to growth and to overcoming fear and anxiety... in a good combination. Trying new things, both in action and thought.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:10 PM
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I'm certainly not recommending the clipboard approach specifically!

It was just a great reminder that planning a meal, reading the menu, thinking about which restaurant to visit are all fantastic and part of the dining experience. But the only way to get full is to eat

P
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:05 PM
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The amount of growth I experience is directly proportional to how deliberate I am with the actions I take. Everything we did when I was in sales/marketing was designed to move toward something, and I'll be damned if much of it doesn't transfer to all other areas of my life as well.

I dig this exercise. Since I had to do direct marketing and communicate on the street I totally relate. Get this...now I walk into a room and greet people, rather than waiting to be greeted. I come off as far less standoffish, and the resulting depth and scope of relationships I've created is worth that mild, job-induced breaking of old habits. Wild what a little bit of concerted effort nets in results.

Anyone can be busy. It's awesome to see that you're choosing to be PRODUCTIVE rather than just busy.

Love the story. Thanks.
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