Thursday, January 11, 2007

Overcoming That Which Holds Me Back From Self-Actualization

A couple weeks ago, several of my friends who are involved in an improv-comedy group asked if I was going to attend a workshop they were holding about improv-comedy. It sounded like fun to me, but I decided I wasn't going to sign up for a variety of reasons. The list included my statement that I have a sense of humor but I don't spontaneously impart humor all too well, that trying to do comedy is beyond my comfort zone, that I can't act, and that the living room did need to get painted once and for all.

My reluctance and resistance to my friend's urgings made me think of other things I declined:
"Oh, I only play violin with orchestra or chamber groups because I don't like to play solo."
"You really don't want to read the book/short story I started. It's in very rough form and I suck at writing dialogue."
"I can't go into the morning show on Kiss FM because I'm not good at that morning banter thing. I don't think of stuff to say quick enough."
The last one was my mantra for almost a year until I actually went and hung out with the Morning Show. It was a blast, and I found I could just play the straight-woman, imparting information and other truths. Listeners seemed to like me as a radio personality, which I didn't expect. The thoughts started creeping up on me that if I could do this, why not open myself up to the other stuff? The voice of self-doubt said, "Well, courtesy-compliments generally suck and you don't want to put something mediocre out there that will be snickered at or pitied by people you think are your friends."

The inner-dialogue even went as far as to point out my last post on here. The only comment I got on it was a criticism from a friend who couldn't see that I was being terribly sarcastic. I only just moved his comment from moderation today because I didn't feel like having to explain in a follow-up comment that I was being sarcastic.

The date of that improv-comedy workshop is growing closer. The fact that I want to go, but fear failure keeps everything else on the top of my "thinking" list. I thought to myself, "Self, I want to change. I think I'm missing out on doing some good stuff in this world because I'm too afraid to share it and too afraid to take the risk of failing."

Rather than explain my next thought, here's the link for Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I think most people get stuck at the self-esteem level. I heard once that Eleanor Roosevelt is one of the few people who could be considered self-actualized. I'm not sure if I totally agree with that, but on the surface level it makes sense.

A new life goal for me is to try to break free from that which I perceive as holding me back from being a total person. I have no disillusionments about how much work will be involved. I think that's why it's considered a life goal.


PreppyGirl said...

Do it! If nothing else, you'll probably laugh your ass off. Challenge yourself. I know exactly what you're saying - I go through it all the time. I'm afraid to step outside my comfort zone. But when I do - it is always worth it.

Julia said...

Yeah, Matt decided that I had to go and is signing me up tomorrow (since I'll be in Salamanca all day). I told him he gets to deal with "Freaked Out Julia" for the next 24 hours or more.

Jane said...

JULIA!!!!!!!!!!!! If I don't see you in about 12 hours from now, I'm going to have to slap you lightly, pinch you in the arm, and call you a name in French!! You're very funny & sharp....and we aren't THAT scary!!

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