Sometimes doing what you don’t want to do is exactly what you need to do. I know when talking about life or personal development we talk about making informed, positive choices. Facing situations with positivity. Sending out the right vibrations. And yes all of these things have value. However there are sometimes in life where you just have to do the things you are unwilling to do. It (at the start)sucks but in the end it brings you the bigger rewards.
Take last weekend for example. I was at a “viking” fighting training weekend (yes when I am not running around with a wand playing Tonks, you can often find me running around with a metal replica sword, bashing and being bashed by my friends. Yep I am a viking re- enactor. I love to fight with r a system known as western style. It’s on one hand similar to tag with weapons and a lot of historical background! On the other it’s an amazing international and ever evolving sport.) Now in this sport I am not the best, not by a long shot; and typically when participating in training weekend workshops I often have had a tendency to hide away and not fight with the technically clever, aka the people who are blooming good and are probably going to win every fight we have. Basically I would (previously) get into my stuff and limit myself by trying to protect myself from feeling rubbish about my lack of abilities by using one or another excuse to get out of the fights with said people.
I know, I know a low self belief spawned, self created situation/drama.
And one of which I was completely unaware of until last weekend when I found myself at a workshop (which I had chosen due to personal interest in the subject)in the company of some the best fighters I know. So I didn’t have a choice. I had to spar with them. I was simply forced into doing something I normally wouldn’t choose to do. And what did I gain? Well I gained a hell of alot. Firstly I realised this whole self limiting and self creating behaviour drama cycle thing I didn’t notice I was doing. And once I got out of my reacting mindset and into my responding humble mindset I learnt more. I even realised how I learn best (which by the way is agonisingly slow, when it comes to doing things with my own body, it’s an Aspergers co-ordination thing). From sparring with those guys, letting down my guard, I learnt so much more because their ability stretched mine and wow do I feel grateful to them and to myself for allowing this learning.
And the benefits of doing something I didn’t want to do didn’t stop there.
By day two of the training weekend I was at yet another workshop surrounded by much more able people (some of who I would consider to be the best in this sport, this time with a humdinger of a hangover). However now I was aware of it I chose the what the fuck I am doing it anyway even when I don’t want to attitude. Instead of shying away from the harder fights (in my head) I choose them and by the end of the weekend I had learnt more in two days than I have in two years of fighting. It was exhilarating!
Doing exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do actually freed me from my mental constraints and opened up possibilities for me that weekend. But could that be a one off event? Nope. Being as I like to experiment. I have applied this theory all week. Even today after a week of being home sick (turns out it wasn’t just a hangover I was also sick) I had to return to school, something I really, really did not want to do. And yet it turned out to be exhilarating. The welcome, the learning, the shared jokes. Even when having to point out my opinion against everyone else’s (something I don’t find difficult in English but hate to do in another language). Once again Doing the exact opposite of what my instincts were telling me I wanted to do freed me leaving me open to new experiences. Wow.
Now I understand you maybe thinking “I thought I am supposed to respond to my instincts so how can doing the what I don’t want to do fit that picture?” Well asked grasshopper. From what I have learned in the last 7 days, it’s about trying it out. Our brains and especially our unconscious can be very devious. It sends out all kinds of messages and a lot of them contradict each other, making following our instincts very difficult. Ultimately I have found if there is something you really don’t want to do but dare to do it anyway you will often find that it was actually something you wanted to do, you just hadn’t realised it. The making yourself do it was just the kick up the bum you needed to get going.
The key to gaining the most from the experience is to (as always) remain open. If you are closed you will only ever endure the drama of doing what it is you didn’t want to do and how awful that was for you. Remain open to the possibilities presented to you when doing something you really didn’t want to do and you will be pleasantly if not overwhelmingly surprised by the benefits. The choice is yours, its how you choose to experience it.
So next time life presents you with something you really don’t want to do – do it * Open your mind and try. The way I see things, any experience in life is a good thing if we learn something from it. Because by learning we grow. So open your mind and dive in. Whether it is facing your hardest opponent, returning to work after being ill or even going to a gig on your own, no matter what it is, by doing that thing you least want to do you will find wealth of learning, possibilities and experiences that you could never have found if you stayed in your comfort zone.
So whenever you get the chance break out of yourself, kick your own butt and choose to do the thing you don’t want to do. You never know what adventure you may start ….
Enjoy the journey ❤
(*With of course taking into consideration that your and other people’s safety will not be jeopardised. Always ce careful of you and other people)