I hear all the time how important it is to step out of your comfort zone and believe me, I agree.
It’s so beneficial to try new things, meet new people, and challenge yourself in different ways. Some examples:
- A few years ago I agreed to teach at a large conference for dispatchers in the state of Idaho. That was terrifying, but also incredibly fulfilling and showed me how much I really enjoyed teaching. I then traveled all around the state teaching to individual agencies and at small trainings and while I was scared at times, I absolutely loved it and I’m so glad I did it.
- Last year I walked into a dance studio to try aerial silks. I was in no way super fit or strong, but I grabbed my Monica and made her come try it out with me… and I loved it. The challenge, the workout, each time I accomplished something new. It was completely worth the fear of trying it.
- This year I have started acrylic painting. It’s hard to open myself up for others to see what I consider my ‘failures’, but at the same time it’s extremely relaxing to paint and incredibly rewarding when I like the way it turns out.
- This city girl has been driving the tractor more and more lately. It scares me, but I like feeling more confident and comfortable each time. It is not something I ever thought in my life I would do, and so that in itself is exhilarating.
Tom has always told me that it’s important to do things that scare you every once in a while and it’s also valuable to do things that are hard sometimes so you can truly ’embrace the suck’ (One of the ways Tom did this was by participating on a relay team of Spokane to Sandpoint runners, because let’s face it: that sucks). It’s nice to be able to feel like I can accomplish difficult things, no matter how small the goal.
The good things in life are always that much better after doing something hard or un-fun.
I mention all of these ‘out of your comfort zone’ things to bring forth the point I have about just how worthwhile it is to build for yourself a comfort zone, somewhere that you can be yourself and you can be safe with your thoughts and ideas. I know so many adults out there who have no idea how to spend an afternoon alone. It’s imperative that you find a place and some activities that are yours where you can exist all by yourself and enjoy it.
Maybe it’s sitting in the sun reading a book or watching a favorite tv show. Perhaps being alone organizing a closet helps you find peace and calm. Some people really enjoy trying out a new recipe, sometimes even a difficult one. Maybe being able to turn on your favorite music and work on a craft or some art is more your style. You might be someone who has a special nap location like a hammock or a window seat.
Take a moment and think about it. Where is your comfort zone and what happens there? Yes, please step out of it for your own benefit as well as others, but don’t forget to visit and calm the stresses of life.