Today I want to talk about something that can make or break you in anything that you do, your comfort zone. I could fill a small car with notebooks detailing all the things I’ve been interested in doing over the years but didn’t, because of my fear of stepping out of that comfort zone.
And that’s what a comfort zone is, a place we don’t feel afraid. It’s cozy there, warm and snugly like being curled up in front of a fireplace with a good book, a blanket tucked securely around us. We know what to expect, we know what is expected of us and we know we have the tools to do what needs to be done there. We don’t feel pressure in the comfort zone or if we do it’s manageable, still safe.
Recently, I’ve been pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone because while it’s safe and cozy, not a whole hell of a lot happens here. After a while, being safe and cozy gets a boring. The fire stifling, the blanket scratchy, the book read a thousand times. I stare into the flames and start day dreaming. What if I shed this blanket and step outside? Will I be eaten by a starving bear? Will I fall into a snow drift and freeze to death? What’s it like to do this or that or that other thing I’ve been thinking about?
So, I open the door, just a little. I write down an idea, just a scribble. I get excited. Something inside me sparks hotter than the fire in the hearth. I want more. I take a step out into the snow, it’s not as deep as I imagined. The cold is bearable, the fire within warms me as I take another step. Then it happens, I stumble. The warmth leeches out of me. I find tools to help me stand again. I could run back into the warmth, wrap myself up, pickup that same worn book. It’s there, calling to me.
But I don’t.
The world outside my comfort zone is so much more alive than I could imagine. I feel excited about life, discoveries, like a child again. Am I scared? Hell yes. There’s no ceiling here to protect me. There are many other places I could fall down. Sometimes those falls are hard, I scrape a knee, I break a bone. But I mend. I learn. I go on.
Lately, I’ve discovered that those debilitating fears I’ve had over things I’ve wanted to do are mostly unfounded. Yes, it’s still scary. The unknown always is. But the snow isn’t as deep and the scrapes don’t hurt as much as I thought. I’m still nervous, waiting for that bear to pop out from behind a tree. Here, though, the benefits outweigh the risks.
Here, I grow, learn, live instead of aging stagnant under a blanket of doubts, warmed by the fire of fear, stuck reading the same old book. Here, I write my own pages, I warm myself, I wrap experiences around me that strengthen me.
Here, surrounded by friends, those met and those to come, fired by desire and excitement to create a life worth living, create a life that burns a streak through the snow, my path, my journey one that could never have happened had I stayed inside.
I challenge you to take a peek outside today, take a step into that white void, to follow the things that spark life in your soul, sign up for that class, write down that idea, make that call you’ve been putting off, and leave your comfort zone behind. Don’t worry, it’ll be there waiting for you if you need it. But once you experience the world outside, I don’t think you will.
ROW80 Goals (accomplishments and progress toward THESE goals)
-Signed up for NaNoWriMo even though I said I wouldn’t
-Looked up workouts and expanded mine (wow, my thighs hurt today. Exercised Fri and Sat)
-Left a message for the gym the next town over (stepping out of that comfort zone…)
-Started planning my NaNo story combining 2 ideas and outlining and map making
-Wrote another 1300 for Faylinn bringing the serial novel total up to over 17,500 words and closer to conclusion
-Signed up for a Tarot story lining class (starts today!) will use this in my NaNo outlining
-Finished 5 college class assignments leaving 3 (half way+ done with the class!) and ordered the next classes books
-Researched the class requirements for my BA
-Commented on over 10 ROW80 Wednesday updates and another 5 for Sunday (so far, working on doing more)
-Read 2 chapters in Characters, Emotions and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress though I’m supposed to be reading the ECE by Margie Lawson, oops
-Written a few more blog posts for my Paleo blog
-Halfway+ finished with Alex Laybourne’s Highway to Hell which will have a review up after (2 books left for this goal)