Have you ever had a conversation with someone you just met, and a few minutes into it you have an overwhelming feeling that it’s going to change your life? That’s how I felt last week – I met a guy who was in town visiting from Australia, and he told me about a year that transformed his life. He and his friends decided that they would do one thing every month for a year that took them out of their comfort zone. Examples of these things included getting a tattoo, speed dating, taking a course in something they’d never considered taking…even doing a nude photo shoot!! The more he described what this experience felt like to him – doing things that he never imagined himself doing, but feeling so free and expansive and courageous afterwards – made me immediately decide that I, of course, had to do it too. (Thanks, David)! By the end of our talk my face actually hurt because I couldn’t stop smiling.
“Ohh, it’s so on,” I said.
Why get out of your comfort zone?
A lot of times, an old story is holding us back from being who we really want to be. Read about the time I got over my fear of needles. Having a story play itself over and over in our minds about why we can’t do something is very limiting. The changes we truly want to see in our lives won’t happen if we’re just chilling where we’re comfortable and doing the same things over and over.
Plus, think about it. How many cool, interesting people could you meet if you did things outside your normal routine? How incredible might you feel if you pushed your boundaries and did something courageous? What kind of old stories could you let go of? What kind of new possibilities might arise for you?
This quote goes along with comfort zone expansion perfectly:
“I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool – for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive…
Why do this at all? Why would we risk the unknown changes that this knowledge could bring into our lives? I risk it for the freedom, to see what is true, what I really want in the deepest part of myself.
Desire seeks to push the edge in the places we have drawn a line in the sand that says, “This is where I will not go, this is what I will not risk.” We are not offered guarantees. What we are offered is knowledge of life and ourselves — and if we are awake, glimpses of the wisdom held in the story our life is telling the world.” –Oriah
Bah! That’s so good! So here’s the deal. I am going to do as many things as I can throughout 2014 that get me out of my comfort zone. Will it be 1 thing per month? I don’t know, it may be more than that, I’m pretty excited about the whole idea. But either way I’ll definitely be blogging about it.
I’m calling this the “Comfort Zone Crusade.” It’s a crusade to EXPAND comfort zones. I’m not against comfort zones. They’re comfy. I totally love my comfort zone and I don’t want to eliminate it. I just want to expand it to make room for change and awakening and transformation. So when I say drop kick it, I mean…kick it into incredible expansion, like you’re illuminating the sky with a huge force field of possibilities.
As far as what I’ll do, I’ll decide based on my own comfort zone. For instance, the first thing I’m doing for January is signing up for a 6-week dance class. Why? Because dancing makes me feel totally awkward and embarrassed, but I’ve always secretly wished I could dance. So, for me, dancing = comfort zone expansion.
Everyone’s comfort zones and desires are different. For one person getting blood taken (like my needle story) may be a total “whatever” procedure, and for another it may feel like the most monumental thing ever. Only you know your own comfort zone.
It could be saying “no” to something or someone you’d normally say “yes” to…OR saying “yes” to something you’d normally say “no” to. It could be waking up an hour earlier to exercise when you’d rather stay in bed. It could be staying sober at an event you’d normally drink at. It could be telling someone you love how you really feel (ooh! do that!) It could be deciding to give up a vice that’s hurting your health. We can practice little comfort zone crusades every single day!!
What this is: doing things that scare you or take you out of your normal routine of what you’re comfortable with, but you you can see how doing these things will lead you to be more of the person you want to be – more open, more courageous, whatever it is. When you think about doing it, it makes you nervous but also a little excited.
What this isn’t: doing things that you would never in a million years care to do at all, and the thought or action of doing it actually makes you feel worse about life. (For instance, I would never force myself to eat something disgusting like live bugs just to get out of my comfort zone). So be cool about it peeps. It’s supposed to be fun.
Post about it on instagram and use the hashtag #comfortzonecrusade if you want me to check out what you’re up to. OMG! SO FUN.
“I’ve learned that being a fool will not kill me. Why, then, do we fear it so much?” –Oriah again
LET’S DO THIS 2014.
Who’s in? I want to hear how you’re going to get out of your comfort zone this year, and why. Leave a comment and tell me!!