At the end of last month, I didn’t like how I was operating.
I was stagnating and knew I needed to do something about it.
The solution? The 7 Day Comfort Zone challenge. My friend and support coach Jaime was going out of her own comfort zone to put her first course together, so being the supportive friend I am, I figured what the hell?
This isn’t about jumping from airplanes or quitting your job and selling all your worldly possessions to travel the world with a backpack.
This is about daily life and how we can sometimes get stuck in ruts or just avoid doing things that should be easy, and are to some people, but to pull the trigger ourselves, is just a little too…scary.
So I enrolled. 7 days. No big deal.
I had to think of 7 things to get me out of my comfy little funk; to stretch me and even scare me.
I also got an accountability partner and had to post on the Facebook page to complete strangers what I had done that day in order to get points. That in itself, posting vulnerabilities and weaknesses and fears to a complete stranger…having to be accountable…I was out of my comfort zone before the damn challenge even started.
My hope is that you read this and are inspired to step out of your own comfort zone. Everyone has one. Don’t kid yourself. Some just have closer walls than others.
I spend a lot of time on trails in the forest, whether it’s hiking, biking or snowshoeing. But I always had a secret desire to run. Not on cement or pavement, on trails. I had talked about wanting to do it lots, with my other half. I also got a special watch for it, wear trail running shoes exclusively, and even bought some clothing that would work. But I had just never done it.
I’ve never considered myself a runner. Nowhere close. I’m short, I have a bionic hip and ankle, and I certainly don’t have a runner’s type of body.
Just the thought of doing this freaked me out. So being already freaked out, I went a little further and chose a trail that I had never been on alone. I took my dog. It was raining and cold, and It was a bit slippery, but I did it. And I loved it. And I felt oddly powerful.
I get really anxious at social events. I try to avoid them as much as possible if I’m not performing at them. I would much rather stay at home cause they cause me that much anxiety.
At my day job, every year, we have a casual get-together. I went last year, felt so anxious and out of place, I vowed never to go again.
I had a totally different challenge planned out for this day, but that morning when I arrived at work, one of the girls (very shy I might add) approached me and asked if I was going. And then two more of the girls asked me if I was going to go. So I got over myself, socialized, danced (another comfort zone thing) and had a blast.
I bought some online guitar lessons. Six months ago.
They’ve been on my to-do list. For six months.
I picked the ones that would work best for what I needed to learn right now and I started them (almost done).
Lessons of any kind have always terrified me. I get nervous and freaked out and think I should be an expert before I even start (I know it doesn’t make sense).
I learned so much, just in the first lesson; it was awesome.
I have a sound system at home that we use for live shows. I haven’t set it up as long as I’ve lived there (more than a decade). Mostly cause I don’t have a clue what I’m doing because all these years, I’ve always had other people to do things like that for me.
When I rehearse at home, I usually just sing without a mic, cause I‘m afraid the neighbours will hear me. Rehearsal isn’t about sounding pretty, but it’s necessary. But rehearsing without a mic puts a strain on the vocal cords. So I set up my mixing board. I’d forgotten I actually knew how to do it, but after more than a bit of swearing Lee and I got it running. Oh, I’d bought a set of in-ear monitors…a year and a half ago and I set those up and tried them out too.
I found a new workout I wanted to try, but it had some instructions and I have an issue with instructions, you know, but I tried it anyway and I also did a full rehearsal with my mic.
With the windows open.
To sing like that, hitting those big notes that I hadn’t allowed myself to hit because I didn’t want my neighbours to hear me, felt so freeing and actually pretty emotional. Afterward, I felt amazing and it was a huge reminder of how much I love to sing. Loud.
I hate asking people for help. I sent an email to an amazing pianist I know, to ask if he’d help me work on getting one of my new songs recorded. Stay tuned.
I loaded my dog up and we went for another run. My goal was to do more running and less speed-walking this time and to make it farther than we had the other day.
Mission accomplished. It felt amazing.
It was inspiring watching the other challengers’ accomplishments as we cheered each other on and spoke about why these things were so difficult for us.
It just goes to show how different everyone’s comfort zones are.
So did I inspire you to get out of your comfort zone? I hope so.
Comment below-I’d love to hear about it.