Do you want to live an average life or live an amazing life? Hell, I know which one I want to live!
Someone once said to me that to truly know you are alive you need to push yourself outside your comfort zone every six months. I’m not talking about wearing high heels instead of your usual flats (Alli), or wearing green instead of your usual black to work (again … Alli).
I am talking about doing something that makes you feel uneasy, uncomfortable and very, very nervous – maybe even to point of fearful. It may make you feel anxious, causing your heart to pound out of your chest and butterflies to whizz around in your tummy. It’s that “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” feeling. Dorothy felt it and so should you – it’s good for you!
So what is a comfort zone then?
A comfort zone is defined as a place where you are very happy and relaxed. It is nice – but it’s also very same, same, can be quite boring, safe, and predictable.
In fact, a comfort zone is very much like the pink, fluffy dressing gown I wear at home – it’s warm, deliciously comfy and always hanging on the end of my bed, just in case I need to get up in the middle of the night to wee. My dressing gown is my comfort zone (as is a warm cup of tea as soon as I get out of bed … same cup, poured the same way, left to brew for a minute, ¼ teaspoon of sugar, start stirring, pour milk while stirring – not too much!). I’m also in my comfort zone when wearing beige undies, but that’s another story.
By stepping outside of your comfort zone (or in my case, my pink, fluffy dressing gown … and Ugg boots) increases your confidence, improves your ‘luck’ and, more importantly, lets you know you are darn well alive!
If you haven’t nipped outside your comfort zone lately, try to do something this week that makes you feel ill … truly! Pick something that makes you break into a cold sweat just thinking about … and do it! For some it might be jumping out of a plane (suggestion: take a parachute), others may just need to have that ‘ugly’ talk with the boss they have been meaning to have. In the words of Nike – just do it! You’ll be surprised how a big hurdle becomes a small one.
I have always been one to push myself outside my comfort zone. I have sky-dived. I have been swimming with sharks (without a cage). I’ve bungy-jumped. I have wrestled a pelican and even an emu. I have been white-water rafting in grade 5 rapids, moved to two towns I had never even visited (one town I drove into without any prior arrangements, nowhere to live and no job … I spent my first three nights in a backpackers sleeping on bed-bug ridden bunk beds … and had the time of my life!). I’ve performed solo on stage to audiences of up to 30,000. I’ve started new businesses and bought a house on the internet without actually seeing it. I’ve handled crocodiles and snakes and I am mad for a rollercoaster ride – in fact, I did the Giant Drop at Dreamworld so many times I actually gave myself vertigo (seriously – I can’t even climb a ladder without getting dizzy). And I have been chased by a Jabiru with the intent to kill (his intent, not mine).
But sometimes I get a bit lazy and coast along in my ‘safety zone’ without even realising it. So it’s time for a shake up!
Yes I have recently started another business, but is it pushing me outside of my comfort zone? Well, not really, as I have done it before. This time it is with my bestie, Alli, so nice and comfy and safe (though tell my bank balance that). Yes I have started doing public speaking gigs with Alli, but again, is that outside my comfort zone? No - I have done it a gazillion times before in my many varied (and sometimes wacky) roles on stage, TV and out in the rainforest.
So this time I need to find something that makes me knees go weak; something that brings on a cold sweat. And I’m looking for suggestions! What do you, dear friends, suggest I do to force me outside my comfort zone again?
PS Word of advice – don’t look a Jabiru in the eye. Apparently he doesn’t like it.