One time, about a year ago, my BFF & I were at the gym, getting our stretch on. While we were stretching it out, this incredibly nimble, incredibly buff dude starts working out on these hanging rings adjacent to our mat.
He was getting pretty crazy on these rings: flips, holds, you name it; he did it. It was some Olympic-level shit going on. & I was impressed. I mentioned this to my BFF, & she scoffed… & claimed that it “couldn’t be that hard.”
It was on.
Because I’m an asshole, I took her up on this claim. We waited around for Mr. Buff & Nimble to complete his routine, & hustled over to the rings for my BFF to try.
I will never forget the look on her face: pure determination. Which quickly turned to a mixture of horror & surprise when she found out that perhaps those ring things weren’t as easy as Mr. Buff & Nimble made them look. At the time, I felt a little bit smug — I’m an asshole best friend, I know. I thought that it illustrated perfectly the importance of knowing one’s limitations. I thought that being aware of how far you can push yourself was a lesson in avoiding being set up for failure. I thought it was important to always acknowledge what you can’t do.
But the reason I bring this up now is because I was wrong. & because I was wrong then, & have continued to be wrong, I think I’m preventing myself from engaging in a long-term commitment of the romantic variety.
Maybe my self-imposed limitations, imaginary boundaries, & voluntary confinement to a comfort zone have something to do with my lack of dating lately.
I set limits on myself because I don’t think that I can push past them. I tell myself a dude is too good-looking for me: he’s out of my league. I convince myself that I don’t want a relationship; that I am too irresponsible for a commitment of that magnitude. I don’t even give myself a chance to try before I let myself down lightly. I don’t even give myself the chance to fail. &, although it is not a pleasant experience, failing is an important experience. It’s a learning experience.
Not only that, but not giving myself the opportunity for failure also relieves me of any chances to succeed. If I tell myself I can’t do something & subsequently don’t do it, I am letting myself down far more than if I just tried. If I allow myself to seize opportunities rather than shirk them, my success rate might be zero… but at least it would actually exist.
Perhaps I should take a page out of my BFF’s book. Maybe I will borrow some of that unadulterated determination, & tackle some rings of my own.