Why Scary is Good…

Tomorrow I’m trying something that is completely out of my comfort zone. I really want to do it, but it also terrifies me.  I went back and forth on whether I should actually sign up and finally registered for it last night. Some of you might scoff, but the thing that brings a pit of fear to my stomach is an Introduction to Improv class. Sounds silly, but I’m a person who likes to prepare what I’m going to say and, on top of that, my jokes are pretty terrible. (Actually, I only have one joke involving a buffalo that I picked up when I was traveling in Yellowstone.)  The thought of getting up on a stage in front of an entire class and trying to come up with some funny material on the fly makes my palms sweat.

So why did I sign up? Ultimately, the reason I signed up is BECAUSE it terrifies me.  Want to know something else? I scare myself like this on a regular basis.  I wrote a book. Do you know how scary it is to publish a book and have strangers read about some of the personal details of your life? I moved to a different country without knowing a single soul there.  Could you build a life in a foreign country so far away from your friends and family? I had to find out the answer to that question, so even though it scared me, I moved to Japan.

do one thing everyday that scares you

People use different terms to describe this experience – breaking out of your comfort zone or challenging yourself.  I believe that when you’re challenging yourself or trying something new, real growth happens. And I think that we can apply this idea to our lives as stepmoms.  Have you been thinking about having a tough conversation with your stepchild, but you don’t quite know where to start? Have you wanted to plan a vacation with your husband and stepchildren to visit your family, but you don’t know if everyone will get along?  These are just a couple of examples of scary situations for stepmoms, but there are quite a few out there for stepmoms. Actually, just the thought of becoming a stepmom can be pretty scary for lots of women out there.  Even though these situations are scary, true change and growth can also come out of these experiences.

I talked to one stepmom recently who was upset because she had a tiff with her teenage stepdaughter over some sensitive topics related to clothing.  When I encouraged this stepmom to talk to her stepdaughter, she hesitated and said she didn’t want to because she didn’t want to make the situation worse.  Once again, I urged her to be honest and let her stepdaughter know that she loves her and just wants the best for her. The next day, she told me that it was really hard to bring it up to her stepdaughter, but as soon as she did, her stepdaughter opened up and shared how she felt about the situation.  As a result of the conversation, they were able to understand the other’s perspective. Both of them felt better after the conversation and the stepmom mentioned that she felt closer to her stepdaughter.

This is just one example of how a situation that scares you can bring about positive change.  I encourage you to look at what areas of your stepmom life you would like to change.  Is there a way that you could break out of your comfort zone or challenge yourself?  It might be painful and scary, but if it brings about positive change, it’s worth it.  Oh, and my improv class? I’m hoping that it’ll help me improve my public speaking skills.  Update: You can find out how it went here.

What about you? Share what scares you and what you’re going to do about it in the comments.