According to the online dictionary, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results. For one could easily say that I have been acting insane as I look back at different aspects of my life and question why certain areas have little to no growth or change at all. Somehow, along the way I developed a sense that “this time will be different”, even though my actions were almost identical to the actions made in the last situation when things went terribly wrong; yet again, I seemed oddly surprised by the outcome as if I have not been there before.
Therefore, as I continue on this growth journey I have realized that my mindset in certain situations was not operating in a sane state because if it were, I would have changed my actions or at least, not acted surprised when I got the same results. The next question was, why did I constantly do the same thing repeatedly when I knew the outcome would be something way less desirable than the outcome that I wanted? The only logical conclusion that I could come up with that actually made sense, was the fact that I was operating in a sense of comfort and predictability. The fear of trying a new way was more terrifying than the pain that came with the current actions that I was already taking. I had little to no fear of the pain that was coming because I had felt it before and I could predict how to deal with it. My lack of courage kept me in a cycle, similar to a hamster wheel, but I felt safe because what was around the corner was always familiar.
The amazing thing about a self-discovery journey is, it forces you out of your comfort-zone and gets you off the hamster wheel. You have no other choice but to look at the actions that you are currently taking and look at the actions that you have taken in the past because you cannot take the same steps if those steps did not lead you in direction that you wanted to go in the first time around. There is nothing scarier than going into a similar situation realizing that you have no other choice but to do things differently because you made a vow to yourself to grow and with growth comes change.
So, what is the definition of insanity? Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results. One of the biggest and hardest things that I have had to come to terms with is the fact that some things only happened to me repeatedly because my actions were always the same. I was living and operating certain parts of my life in an insane matter, but taking accountability is what has given me the courage to do thing differently. I still may not get the results that I desire; however, it not because I am doing the same thing repeatedly because I am no longer operating in my comfort zone.
Lacresha Dowdy is a graduate of Clinton High School, Piedmont Technical College, and Claflin University in Orangeburg. Since December, 2009, she has been the City of Clinton Municipal Court clerk of court, and also is a Community Relations Specialist with the city.