Per wikipedia your Comfort Zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.
I bet most of us – myself include operate in our comfort zones much more than we want to – but it is a habit and it is easy. I definitely operate in my comfort zone a lot – in most instances I’m a low risk type of person and if I’m honest afraid of failure. Thought I’d share 3 things I’ve done lately to put myself outside of my comfort zone and what I discovered.
The first was taking the plunge and getting myself a road bike (I have another post planned specific to that) -but in a nut shell – I was nervous and excited all at the same time. I haven’t been on a bike probably in close to 10 years (not counting spin bikes), I was spending a lot of money, excited to try something new and scared to death what I’ve gotten myself into. I haven’t actually taken the bike out yet as we’ve had bad weather and I would like to go to a park to ride (before taking it out on the road). I’ll be honest I don’t want to embarrass myself by falling in front of my neighbors – did I mention the pedals are clip pedals only? (hence the reason I don’t want to fall in front of my neighbors and I’ve been told I will fall). I’m more excited now than nervous and can’t wait to get out there and ride my bike! I keep telling myself it is ok to be scared – I know on the other end of it I’m going to have so much fun with it!
The second may not seem like a big deal – but it is trying some new morning classes at BP. I’ve gotten away from the morning classes, but work schedule has been crazy (these days whose isn’t) and I decided I’ve got to get some sessions in the morning before my day gets started. The two classes I’ve added are PowerYoga (I know I’ve only made it to one so far – so that may not technically count) – the other is a Thursday morning Strictly Strength class. I will tell you the yoga class didn’t intimidate me – I’ve been practicing yoga now for a year (it was more making the commitment to get up before 5:30 am). But the Strictly Strength class had me intimidated – particularly when I would see some of my friends post after the workouts. I decided to take a chance – I discovered, I LOVE it! And I was really bummed I missed it this week when I was traveling (and that was only after two classes)! Looking forward to next week’s class. Reminds me of my favorite saying – “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge” ~ Tuli Kupferberg! I can’t wait to see how these two classes help me transform myself again. Oh and the Strictly Strength class wakes up those muscles!
And the last of my comfort zone breaker happened this week. I have a fear of public speaking (and I’m a bit of an introvert – for those that know me well – I know you don’t believe me – but that is because you are part of my comfort zone). I traveled to Chicago for work this week to assist in filming some customer testimonials. I was the interviewer! So not something I wanted to do and holy crap I was nervous. The filming team did a nice job prepping me – plus I had the prepared questions. I’ll be honest I was still nervous because I didn’t want to mess up or make a mistake – I wanted it to be perfect! And it wasn’t perfect – nothing is but I had a lot of fun and I wasn’t the only one nervous. The first person I interviewed was just as nervous as I was – we both did great. The more I did the easier it was – I ended up interviewing 6 people in two days – 4 of them were just as nervous as I was or more (and in the end I was comforting them). It was a lot of fun and I even learned a thing or two about some really cool companies (and it was exhausting!). I’m not quitting my day job anytime soon – but it did give me the confidence to put myself out there and try new things.
So what have you done lately to get out of your comfort zone?
- Bardwick, Judith. Danger in the Comfort Zone: How to Break the Entitlement Habit that’s Killing American Business. New York: American Management Association, 1995. ISBN 0-8144-7886-7.