Last night I was blessed to experience something new and different for the first time... something that I have pondered participating in for years, but never actually did, due to comfort. This something was swing dancing. Literally I have thought about it for several years, and only now did I do it. And, it was absolutely amazing on every level. It was fun, invigorating, funny, entertaining, and wildly challenging. And I think to myself, why? ...Why did I wait until just now, after all these years of suppressing the desire? I can’t help but imagine how good I could be by now? How all these years I would have had one more hobby and social engagement to participate in, to make friends at, and to live freely? The answer is simple... fear of the unknown... fear of stepping outside the ‘comfort zone’. It is easy to talk about how we need to get outside our comfort zone... it is even easier for me to teach it, and challenge and encourage other people to do it, but when it comes time for me to apply the principle to myself, I often fail. I like to hibernate, stay safe hiding in my little safety zone... But what is there to gain in this? The only true gain in “comfort zones” is loss, loss of experience, loss of opportunity for growth, loss of potential. And it is funny how looking back at everything I’ve ever actually been willing to step outside this bubble for has been rewarding, and worth it, every time. Even if it ended up being something that I only tried once, I still gained from it. I mean, honestly, what is the worst that can happen? Upon truly thinking about that, especially with something as simple as a dance lesson, there is no logical explanation for not trying. So now I know. Now I can remember. I can use this experience to learn, to grow, and to remind myself next time I am faced with an opportunity to step outside my safety net and I find myself wavering... I need to just leap forward, and spread my wings to fly.
5 things to remember when struggling with stepping outside of our comfort zone: