Fighting ICS

Do you have ICS? It’s quite prevalent. It can hit anyone, although statistically, women between the ages of 35 and 55 are particularly vulnerable. It’s one of the most debilitating conditions ever.

What? You haven’t heard of it? I’ll bet you have it… or know someone who does. It impacts lives. It’s even contagious.

ICS. I Can’t Syndrome.

Maybe you want to try something you’ve never done before. Something that you think you’ll probably be pretty bad at. Something that no one around you has ever tried. And before you even give it a shot, you immediately think “I can’t do that.”

We say these things about choices big and small. We say it every day. We use ICS to hold ourselves back.

No doubt, there are some things we really CAN’T do. We can’t just wander into a hospital operating room and perform surgery. It requires years of schooling and training. Most likely, man will never fly or swim underwater distances without mechanical help.

BUT… Most of us aren’t making those types of decisions. Instead, we are choosing if we should sport those new high heels or bathing suit or fitness routine or recipe or adventure or career. ICS keeps us safe inside our comfort zone. It may be boring, but we know exactly what to expect.

ICS is almost always caused by fear of rejection. No one likes to look foolish. Some of us are more sensitive to criticism or laughter or scorn than others. People need people. It’s in our makeup. Anything that makes us feel like we might lose the connection of our tribe – the people we know and love – is scary.

What’s more, when you try something new, you really might be lousy. I started ski lessons this past winter and I was TERRIBLE. Skiing is not among my natural gifts. I don’t like speed. I don’t like cold. I don’t like that falling, whooshing, speeding feeling.

But until this past winter, I hadn’t tried it. I said I couldn’t ski. But I didn’t really KNOW I couldn’t ski. Because I had never tried.

Now, I say I’m a lousy skier. I say that I don’t love skiing and that it’s not my favorite way to spend my time and money. But I don’t say I can’t. Because I can. Not well, but I can.

And as much as I didn’t adore skiing, I loved the sense of accomplishment from giving it a shot. Yes, I was petrified. Yes, I felt clumsy and foolish.

But in the end, I was really proud of trying something new and pushing myself outside my comfort zone.

Fight ICS. It’s the only way we grow forward and become all we can be. Try it. You just might like it.