Disobeying Yourself


By The Pinion

I realized what is truly important to me is righting wrongs, to make an attempt to be a part of a voice that helps people who cannot help themselves, a voice for the voiceless. The foundation of my advocacy is deeply rooted in my own personal experiences with oppression.

Everyone has a shadow controlling their actions, not literally, but figuratively. A shadow of themselves, a culmination of all their traits amplified. For many, this shadow is overly anxious, pulling them back every time they try to cross the border of their comfort zone. Some let this shadow control them, causing them to miss out on opportunities they had wanted to try and take advantage of. Though it isn’t easy, people plagued by this overly cautious shadow must learn to disobey it. Going against one’s own tendency to avoid possibly uncomfortable experiences is the only way to live life to the fullest. One’s social life, personal life, academic life as well as career can all be improved by stepping outside one’s comfort zone more often.
Uncomfortable experiences play a pivotal role in the development of a person’s personal and social life. For many, interacting with other people can be one such uncomfortable experience. However, most of the people a person values in life earned that value through meaningful interactions together over time. Spending time with them after work or school, giving them a gift on a special day, remembering important details about their life that made them who they are. These are just a few of the many ways people build strong relationships with others. Fear of being the first one to initiate these interactions is understandable, but it is crucial to do so if someone wants to start a relationship with another person. Opportunities to start a relationship with a person of interest are usually encountered very often. Being in the same class, walking the same path home, working at the same job. People need only to step outside of their comfort zone and take advantage of these opportunities given to them in order for these relationships to blossom. Once people have secured a relationship, conflict is inevitable, and, let’s face it, conflict can also be uncomfortable. Disagreements and misunderstandings are very common when you interact with someone very often. Which usually leads to distance in the relationship and poor communication. Though it is uncomfortable, if there is a desire to rekindle the relationship, someone must eventually initiate a discussion about the misunderstanding or disagreement. Discussing each other’s views of the situation can help one understand the other as well as providing some closure. Overcoming this obstacle in the relationship will have strengthened the bond between the two and prepared them to overcome future conflicts. Being able to maintain strong relationships is a stepping stone towards academic and career success.

School and career life also expose one to uncomfortable, yet beneficial, experiences. The extent to which someone is successful academically depends greatly on whether or not they take advantage of opportunities given to them. Participating in extracurricular activities, taking classes that interest you, volunteering. These are common ways people plan ahead and prepare for college since colleges usually look for people who take advantage of opportunities. Being unsure of what one wants to do in the future already gives people reluctance to engage in these opportunities, and the addition of anxiety about it makes it worse. Joining something while not knowing anyone is uncomfortable at first, but taking advantage of these opportunities can have positive effects on academic growth and prepare people for the future. A person’s career starts off because of opportunities like this. Job interviews are great opportunities to present a person’s strengths to employers and show them why they should hire that person. A job interview can be very uncomfortable though. The pressure of making a good impression, speaking with someone the person doesn’t know, the possibility of rejection. All of these factors can make it easy to be anxious and stray from putting oneself out there, but, as uncomfortable as the experience may be, it is only the beginning of a person’s career. Once a person jumps over the first hurdle their career will lead down a path of growth.
Many different aspects of people’s lives can be changed for the better if the tendency to stay within one’s comfort zone is disobeyed. Life gets opened up to so much more opportunities when this is done. However, the shadow is still there, and will make doing so very difficult. When that shadow seems to be taking the light out of life, remember that its feelings are interchangeable with its host. If the host wants to go outside of the comfort zone, it does too. Should that person go further outside it a little bit every day, this shadow will eventually feel their host is safe and let them go. It will still be there, yes, but it will be watching proudly from a distance as the border of the comfort zone transforms from a chain link fence to an open door.