I regularly set myself “unreasonably” difficult challenges.

For example, over the next month or so, I want to go out and practice my street clowning — interacting with the public in the street.

I am often scared of social interaction. I will avoid talking to shopkeepers when I have a good reason to talk to them, because talking to strangers makes me uncomfortable.

Why the hell would I put myself through this!?

Nobody is asking me to go out and do clowning in the street. Nobody is making me do it. Nobody apart from me really cares about it.

But I know I need to do it if I want to be more comfortable doing my street clown show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

And it occurred to me…

Perhaps I’m more likely to put myself up for these scary things because I’m just so used to being uncomfortable.

Many people get up to do their first stand-up comedy set at an open mic night and they are visibly scared. They tell the audience that they feel “crazy for having signed up to do this spot.”

Most people would never dare to sign themselves up for a comedy open spot.

My first comedy spots were terrible. But I can’t remember feeling any more scared of it than I feel when ramping myself up to go to a barbecue with friends.

“Normal” people (whatever they are) enjoy going to social events. It’s how they relax. They don’t have to convince themselves to spend time with their closest friends.

Me, I’ve always got a bit of a struggle. A bit of a “fear hill” to overcome before I go to do something social.

And maybe that continual action despite fear means that putting myself up for something really scary (like doing street clowning) is… well… just another scary thing that I don’t feel like doing, but I know I have to do anyway.

Maybe the things that we find extremely difficult in life can actually become our superpowers.

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