Salt Lake City got a foot of snow on Saturday – looks like Spring is not as near as I’d hoped.
Usually, I’m the type to complain about the cold, but lately I’ve been challenged to accept it and even enjoy it.
Last week, I went snowboarding for the first time in over a year.
For a long time, I refused to go. I avoided it at all costs. I’d even switched to skiing, but barely did that unless family was in town. The past few months, my husband has been challenging me to try new things.
Marriage is exciting this way and also really difficult. This person is challenging you for your own good, but it can be really hard to accept. For me, it’s always been especially difficult. I pushed back a lot against his suggestions to try snowboarding again and be outside of what felt comfortable to me.
We all have a comfort zone: a safe place, a sweet spot.
For me, it’s a routine. I love consistency and predictability. It makes me feel in control. It’s been a coping mechanism my whole life, because not much else was in my control. But I could always choose what I wanted to do with my time, and it usually included watching tv, reading, or something else really tame.
I’ve never been very adventurous. I’ve always envied those with this kind of confidence. The types who will jump into anything without a second thought. Nick is very much like this. He puts his mind to something, and it happens immediately. Me? I like to make pro/con lists, take time to decide. Even down to what I order at a restaurant.
That’s my sweet spot, and I’ve been alright with that.
My husband though, he sees that deep down I desire to be adventurous and take risks. I want to break free of fear, but I feel trapped in it. So, he’s been encouraging me to be uncomfortable. A year ago, this led me to a stage at church.
Now, it’s leading me to a mountain.
I’m not good at snowboarding.
Mostly because I’ve only gone 4 times.
Also because I never wanted to go back.
Every time my husband asked me, my response would be an emphatic NO.
He loves snowboarding.
He’s ask me to go with him so we could do something together.
I fought him constantly.
I’d say “I don’t like it”
and “why can’t it be okay for me to not want to do that?”
He would say “once you do it more and get better, you’ll like it.”
Deep down, I know he’s right. But I’m afraid.
I’m not afraid of falling or getting hurt.
I’m afraid of being embarrassed and utterly humiliated.
When I write that down it seems a little ridiculous. But the thought of falling off the lift and knocking Nick over again makes me want to crawl inside a hole and never come out.
Do you ever feel this way about anything?
Public speaking? Singing in front of people? Learning a new sport?
Maybe being vulnerable & sharing your emotions is uncomfortable for you.
Or maybe you get uncomfortable meeting new people & putting yourself out there.
It is human nature to desire safety. It makes logical sense and it’s usually considered wise. But they don’t make inspiring movies about people who played it safe. The people we admire are the ones who take the leap: both literally and figuratively.
We constantly put ourselves into a space where we feel we can achieve. We limit ourselves to those few things we can do well so we can avoid failure.
Your comfort zone is a box. It’s a box of limitations and “I can’t’s” . It’s a box full of possibilities caged in by fear.
So how am I getting out?
3 tips for getting OUT of that comfort zone:
1. Say yes to new things, no matter how much it scares you.
Get off that couch.
2. Be spontaneous – don’t overthink it
Fear comes into play when we open our brains to the “what ifs”.
What if I fall? What if people laugh at me? What if I’m terrible?
The best way I’ve found to avoid this thought process is to just DO it. Jump in. Don’t overthink, just go. Terribly difficult for a calculating person like me.
3. Accept failure
Maybe I will fall a lot. Maybe I will cry and swear and hate it for a while. Maybe I will break a bone.
Maybe people will laugh at you. Maybe you will be terrible at first.
But MAYBE you’ll be incredible. Maybe you’ll learn about yourself and God more. Maybe you’ll see that it doesn’t matter what people do or say.
Maybe you’ll learn you are capable of more than you ever thought or imagined
You will never know if you stay inside your comfort zone.
Don’t get me wrong – I definitely do not like the idea of failing.
But being stubborn won’t get me anywhere.
If I want to be adventurous and bold, I can’t expect that to change while I sit on the couch watching Criminal Minds. I have to get up and try the things that I avoid like the plague.
Maybe your dreams are outside of your comfort zone.
Mine definitely are.
My dream is for this blog to create a community.
A place where people feel inspired and encouraged.
I want to be a positive voice, a light amidst a world of darkness and struggle.
But I can’t push these limits & achieve these goals without being a little uncomfortable along the way.
TRUST ME when I say I need this reminder every day.
I need to stop being so afraid and make choices out of TRUTH and CONFIDENCE instead of fear.
What’s the one thing you wish you could do but scares you more than anything?
What can you say yes to?
FLEE THAT COMFORT. All that couch ever got you was a flat butt anyway.