@joshlinkner posted this small and tiny Tweet: “Life begins where your comfort zone ends”.
I realize that I’m centered and planted square in the middle of a great undertaking. All the loose ends are coming together and the visions that I’ve had are starting to materialize. They’re becoming real, and life is coming at me fast. Not that it hasn’t been, not that it won’t…but as time draws closer to the launch date for “Faces for Change Ride”, I feel myself beginning to let go of my Fears, my Anxiety, any doubts that previously crossed my mind are being censored by a tiny voice, possibly my muse that quietly communicates with me offering nothing but encouragement.
So what has changed?
I am what many would consider to be a very rational thinker, in fact, most people that know me would say that I over-think things. It’s a bad habit, it’s not good for me (or you) and I’ve been taking steps to make a change.
When you rationalize a thought, or the process behind any undertaking you’re analyzing a mental checklist of all the factors that will contribute to “its” success or failure. Too much of this and it’s paralyzing. You never get started and “it” never happens. “It” never happening is like it has never been born, “It” was never given the chance to thrive. You played it safe and took the road of most comfort.
Playing it safe is not bad, but like so many people say, “There’s little reward paid for small risks”.
Or, as J.K. Rowling puts it,
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all”.
To increase the chances of success, to give life and hope to your project or collaborative enterprise, you need to increase the size of your comfort zone. You need to step away from the safe zone.
Learning to ride a bicycle is of the scariest and most shared experiences by human beings. I have not met one single person that has tried to learn to ride a bike and failed, never returning to try it again. Most often this skill is learned as a child, and learning to ride a bicycle is our ticket to Freedom.
The comparisons and corollaries here are almost endless. As a child your comfort zone, or rather that of your parents, is the backyard. Encircled and closed in by a fence: that’s their comfort zone. As you grow and mature, that area later includes the front yard. Now that you’ve shown some responsibility and know the dangers of the street, cars, etc…you’re allowed to be freer : comfort zone expanded.
The experience of learning to ride a bike: It’s scary, you WILL FALL and FAIL. You’ll get scraped, bruised and banged up. A visit to the doctors office may be included, but you eventually learn!
You’ve watched the older neighborhood kids ride bikes, you see the fun, excitement and hear about the places they’re going (the park, the pool, etc). You haven’t been yet, at least not without your parents. You want it, you need it, so much that you can almost taste it. What is it? It’s Freedom.
Once you’ve shown others, most importantly yourself that you can ride safely, Courage and Responsibility are now yours. Your delimited and clearly demarcated area in which you live and play (backyard and front) has changed. It now includes the vast expanse of the neighborhood. You’re comfort zone has expanded and you’re free to explore.
What once seemed impossible is now possible. What was once frightening and scary is now a simple exercise or task. You took your chances and faced your fears. You’ve earned your Freedom.
Have you quit expanding your comfort zone? What made you stop? What small risks and steps can you take to recover what is yours?
Fear will always be there, it’s a constant. Don’t look at Fear as something you have to beat, it’s there for you to embrace. Fear is talking to you and pointing you in the right direction, the problem is, you’re facing away from it, not looking straight at it. That’s the direction you need to go.