Is it an “Opportunity” or “Anxiety”?

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Last month, I had a chance to do not one, but two things I’d never done before. I found myself at the helm of a 52-foot catamaran, and I also found myself as an extra on a television show. One of these was an opportunity that got me giddy with excitement, while the other started my stomach churning and made my palms slick with sweat. Any guesses which was which?

White Dove Catamaran

White Dove Catamaran

Since I usually pilot pontoon boats in the 32-foot range, piloting that 52-foot catamaran was a huge treat. I absolutely LOVED it. The White Dove is big and beautiful and I felt like queen of the world while I was at the helm.

Captain Connie at the Helm

Captain Connie piloting White Dove Catamaran

On the other hand, being in front of the camera made me as nervous as if I were standing naked in front of the church. Ack. So, so not my thing. People spend years trying to snag such an opportunity while I was thinking, “Please don’t make me do this, please don’t make me do this.” But there was a schedule conflict and I was an available female of the right age who was already on set, so… I agreed to do it. I was glad to help, but I was so far beyond my comfort zone I was afraid I’d never find my way back. It was my first—and last—time on camera. (I know, never say never. But in this case, I’m saying never.)

That whole experience got me thinking. Why did one new thing make me see opportunity, while the other simply created anxiety? I think part of it is that piloting a bigger boat was simply stretching myself in an area I already feel competent in. Being on camera was like taking a trip to Swaziland. I had never been there before and had no idea how to behave. If I’d always longed to be an actress, I think my response would have been very different.

The next time something new comes my way, I’m going to take a minute to see if it sparks gut feelings of “opportunity” or “anxiety.” Then I’ll know better how to respond.

How about you? How do you view new things or experiences? What part does your gut reaction play in your decisions?

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    The Conversation

  1. beth trissel says:

    How very interesting. What an exciting life you do lead. I was an extra once in Hallmark’s The Love Letter. What a hoot. But like you said, never again. 🙂

    • Connie Mann says:

      Hi Beth, so you’re a fellow extra–who also decided “never again.” 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it, though. (I’m not sure I remember it, I was so nervous.) But here’s to taking risks and trying new things!!!

  2. Mac Crowne says:

    Beth is right. Very exciting life. I try not to over-think new experiences, or I may talk myself out of them. Your experience at the helm may have been fun, but did it really open you up to different paths? You never know how that moment in front of the camera has prepared you for something just around the corner.

  3. diane burke says:

    I love the picture of you sitting at the helm. You absolutely looked like you were loving every second and made me wish I was along for the ride. It is sooo difficult sometimes to cope with things out of our comfort zone. And just like love and hate there is a very fine line between excitement and anxiety, isn’t there??

    Great blog as usual! Keep up the good work. I truly enjoy reading your blogs

  4. debianne says:

    When my children were small we would have a “God hunt” each night at dinner. Each girl would recount their day and tell where they think God “entered their day”.
    Sometimes the stories were funny, some were serious, and some were a stretch of the imagination. But…the point being that each day God presents us with things that stretch us…it’s up to us to reach out and take the challenge.

    My life verse is.Isaiah 43:19 (NLT) “For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
    I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

    I love how The Message puts it…”Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”

    I want to be alert and be present in the moment so I can embrace that new experience and take that “leap of faith”…but hey, that’s just me. I know I’m an early adapter and love CHANGE!!!!
    Keep up the good posts!

    • Connie Mann says:

      Debi, a “God hunt”–what an awesome idea! So glad you shared it here. Hope others will adopt it in their families.

      And I LOVE your life verse. Actually, you sent it to me one day and I have it posted above my computer screen. Thanks for the great reminder to always be open to the possibilities God sends our way!

  5. Trish Wentling says:

    When I was dating the man who six months later became my husband, we volunteered to work The Childrens Miracle Network Telethon in Jacksonville, FL to be shown live on their PBS station.
    I wanted to do off camera calls, verifying addresses and pledges. I was told they needed another woman in front of the camera and wanted me. I took one look at the ‘monster machine’ and said, “I can’t do it! I won’t!” Ready to hide out in the ladies room.

    So I know that ill feeling and clammy hands that you felt.