Do you remember when I asked you to Spend Time With Someone Who Adds To Your Self? There are several reasons behind that. (But, of course! There’s a reason behind everything I say!) I talked about a few of them in that post, but here’s one that I have been thinking about recently.
I like my comfort zone. I don’t just like to hang out in it – I like to grab a blanket, curl my feet up under me and settle in, nice and cozy. I like to pull in all the people and possessions that make me feel safe and plant them around me. I will stretch occasionally but throwing that blanket off and taking a huge leap out of my little bubble scares me. I worry about failure, about making a fool of myself, about people thinking I’m insane (ah, streeeeetching out of my comfort zone here by revealing all of this!) and I fear that I will be so different from everyone else if I actually show the world who I am that I will be alone.
But the people who shine on my list are the ones who risked those very things: failure and alienation. They risked those things because they felt that what they had to say, who they had to be was so important that they couldn’t stuff it inside or hide it in a bubble. One of my favourite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. is “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK, Jr. was certainly not silent and the world owes him a million tonnes of gratitude for that. He risked far greater things than being mocked; he spent an unimaginable amount of time away from his family who he loved and he risked and lost his life for his cause. So, spending time with the Good Reverend, if only by remembering his words and his feat, makes me feel like I can take that stretch, step, leap out of my comfort zone and be who I am meant to be.
And that’s why it’s important to be conscious of the ways that people add to you. Know these people. Keep them on your radar and let them be a part of your own support system. I like to think that the people I admire, even if we have never met, would encourage me to live my life with as much enthusiasm, courage and strength as they did. I also like to consider the famous ones as regular people – folks who had to step out of their comfort zones, whatever they were, to do what they did.
I’ve started tiptoeing outside my boundaries, especially in the last year. One or two things I’ve done recently can even be considered leaps. I have to admit, it’s a little addicting. I guess that’s a good thing because, after setting my next quarter’s goals, I have many more leaps ahead!
They say you should do one thing a day that scares you. One thing a day? What do YOU think about that?
When was the last time YOU stepped out of your comfort zone? What did you do? Was it worth it?
Understanding your comfort zone, what keeps you in it and how you might benefit by leaving it once in awhile is important to your creative release. Spend some time with these thoughts in your journal or discuss them over coffee with a trusted friend. And don’t forget to leave a comment below!