Over the course of the past year, I've come to realize that saying no is what holds us back. We love our friends, but maybe we balk at invitations to things we aren't sure of because we're afraid. We let fear of social situations decide for us that maybe we'd rather just stay home - doing nothing, watching movies, eating ice cream. And sometimes that holing up with ourselves to reflect and explore feels amazing. Sometimes, it's exactly what we need. But lately I find a lot of people (myself included) have been using it as an excuse to avoid social interaction.
I don't want to blame the internet, or text messages, or any other technological advancement for our reliance on social crutches. But I can't help but notice that more and more, people are becoming less reliable. More likely to back out on plans, and more likely to make promises they have no intention to keep. Myself included; I'm not trying to get self-righteous in any way.
My point is, I think that maybe we've reached the point that we have begun to manipulate our interactions beyond our own good. We are allowing ourselves to find boxes in which we feel comfortable, and we choose to stay there rather than branch out and learn more about ourselves and the people around us. We make plans with people and then back out in a sense of social panic. We claim illness, when the illness we're referring to is just a panic attack, not an actual affliction.
What if we quit finding excuses not to? What if instead, we just went? We accepted invitations, and went, and made the best of the situation, even if we didn't think we'd have fun? Obviously, sometimes we'd prove ourselves right. We'd go, and it might suck, and we'd be affirmed that we should have said no in the first place. But what if we went in thinking we'd have a miserable time, and it turned out to be something amazing? At the very least, what if we had a really great time and didn't regret going at all?
I might be speaking to a very small audience. I might just be coaching myself right now; I have no idea. I just get the impression lately that it isn't just me saying no because I'm afraid. I think that we're all analyzing the value of our time versus the possible uses of, and we're missing out on things that could really broaden us as people.
I never want to stop growing. I never want to stop experiencing, or discovering, or adventuring. But it's a conscious decision that I have to make, to say yes to the invitations that feel like they're outside of my comfort zone. But I can honestly tell you, that even if I don't necessarily enjoy myself, I never regret having gone.
Say yes. Even if it seems like something you might not enjoy, go. Broaden your perspective and who you are and never stop.
Because living in a box is no way to live.