Thursday, March 7, 2013

How Do You Feel When You're Outside Your Comfort Zone

The ambidextrous snowman you see with me and my buddy, Wilson, is named Russel.  He was born when I scooped all the snow off my driveway and piled it up near the street.  My wife and youngest son added the finishing touches including slices of apples, brussel sprouts for the mouth, a carrot and a scarf.  He seemed to come to life once I added the tennis rackets for his arms.  At a temperature of 24º, Russel showed off his cool personality once he sported the sunglasses.  The only problem with my new friend is that he will be out of his comfort zone soon and begin melting when the Spring weather moves in.  It reminds me of what happens when we humans face new challenges.

The good news is that you are not made of snow.  You are capable of adapting to all kinds of situations as long as you don't let your attitude freeze up.  Here are some lessons I learned from my relocation to Iowa from California:
  1. The further outside your comfort zone you go, the more opportunities you have to discover what you're really made of.
  2. Experience doesn't come from doing the same things over and over, it comes from trying new things, meeting new people, and embracing new challenges.
  3. You can't lead others outside their comfort zone if you aren't willing to venture outside yours.
  4. It's normal to feel different emotions, like fear, when you stretch yourself.  What matters is that you are willing to grow even though you have those feelings.
  5. You may stay in your comfort zone if you hold on to things, however, they become anchors and they hold you back from all the joys awaiting you on the high seas.
Wherever you are today, I hope you challenge yourself to go outside your comfort zone.  Just avoid taking snowmen to the indoor tennis courts with you.  That's a little too far to go, even if they happen to be ambidextrous and you're in need of a doubles partner.

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