Soaring through the night sky;
Swinging between Manhattan’s skyscrapers;
Suddenly, his senses went into overdrive, shouting and screaming “Danger! Danger!”
“Swoosh”, he heard an object accelerating towards him, knowing it be dangerous, he let the webbing go and “Boom!” an explosive went off where he was a millisecond ago.
Spiderman, the marvel comic super hero, is the world’s most famous web-slinger.
His super powers includes: Enhanced strength, agility, and wall crawling. But the one is that is most unique is the spider sense, a tingling at the base of the skull that warns spiderman when danger approaches. Its has saved his life many times.
Do you know we something akin to spider sense too? We have what’s known as the “Fear Sense”. The fear sense is something that keeps us away from what’s unknown, the fear sense keeps us away from leaving our comfort zone.
Don’t believe me? Recall the last time you have been asked to do something that you have not done, tried or experienced before?
Take for example bungy jumping, or even public speaking! Do you remember how you felt? The queasy feeling in the gut, the legs getting soft and the brain keeps screaming “Are you nuts! Don’t do it!”
If you felt that before, you have the “Fear Sense”. Its purpose is to keep you within your comfort zone. Things that you are familiar with. Take note “Fear Sense” does not necessary keeps you safe. It merely tells you to stay within status quo.
What is status quo? The status quo may mean being a job you hate, may mean doing the things that you hate doing, and even living the life you hate living.
Does it makes sense to stay status quo in such cases? No?
But yet it doesn’t stop me from seeing hundreds, and hundreds and hundreds of people, who go about doing the same old thing, over and over and over again. The eyes of these people are dead and when you ask them: “Why don’t you try something else?” They give in to the “fear sense” and say, “The world is a big one, I don’t know what I will be getting myself into” or They will say:” I don’t know, maybe its better to stick at what I know.”
In short, the fear sense is the fear of the unknown, the fear of treading out of the comfort zone.
Likewise I had often given in to the “fear sense”. As mentioned in my earlier posts, I fear hardwork a lot, and I fear that my personal space will be taken if I work hard. As a result I often avoid doing any thing “extra”. I reflected over the lunar new year’s holiday and I realized how much opportunity sweep past me because I wasn’t willing to “work hard” and break through my comfort zone. I felt a huge sense of regret. I I told myself this year that I wanted to change, and the opportunity for change came in an unexpected way.
During one of my February toastmaster’s chapter meeting, we celebrated the birthday of February Babies. As I sang the birthday song, I thought of how some of these people like Coen, Ted and Carl have made such a difference in my life. At that moment I felt the sudden urge, an urge to celebrate these individuals by having a gathering of friends. It sounds simple right? But I had never organized such events before as I feared the hardwork involved, and I was going into unknown territory. The fear sense of course set in.
What did i do?
I questioned the fear:
Me: What were you afraid of?
Fear: I am afraid of hardwork and the lost of personal space.
Then I address its concern:
Me: Thank you for sharing your concerns. But these people means a lot to me, and I want to celebrate these individuals. Anyway, its just a couple of calls, text and emails away, its not that difficult.
Truth be told, a fair bit of effort was used in getting the people to come for the birthday celebration of my friends, Ted, Coen, Ming Jian and Carl. I sent out an email invitation on 12th Feb 13 for a dinner gathering on the 16th.
2 days had passed, no response. A part of said: “Yay, lets not celebrate!” But I reflected on past regrets, and I decided to text and call my friends up. As I tabulated the no of people who have agreed to come, the list came up to 10 people. Quite a respectable number, isn’t it.
When the event was over, I reflected on the whole process. Even though I spent some time on it, it had never really intruded on my personal time. I also came to one realization: Its quite simple. Most importantly, the smiles of satisfaction of my friends and the simple words of “Thank you” simply made my day.
This incident, as well as my foray into blogging, thought me that breaking out of the comfort zone, moving away from the status quo can be quite simple. All it takes is to question the “fear sense” and to address its concerns. What’s going to happen is that, when you expand and break through the comfort zone.
You will start going places, that you have never gone to.
Do things that you have never done before.
See things in a way that you have never seen before.
Live like you will never live before.
Next time, when you feel that queasy feeling in the gut, the softness in the legs. Be open to the idea, that the fear sense could be alerting you to an opportunity to break through your comfort zone.
To end off, I would like to share a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt said:” Do one thing everyday that scares you”
Your fellow human being:)