Have you ever had a conversation with someone and then suddenly, without any intention, the theme of that conversation becomes a theme in your life?
I recently found out what a dry suit is and then everywhere I looked there was reference to this thing that I had never even heard of before. In a book I was reading, on a wildlife programme, in a newspaper article. Crazy right?
More significantly, another theme has made an appearance in my life in the last few weeks: getting out of my comfort zone.
We all have comfort zones. Whether it be work or social, there are things, places and activities that make us happy and content, or are our go to choice, and others that scare the wits out of us. Or at the very least make us want to hide.
The first time this topic raised its head was in a conversation with my immediate line manager. He asked if I thought I ever got out of my comfort zone at work. I confess, I was stumped at first.
On the one hand, the work feels natural to me so I don’t feel any particular pressure. On the other hand, it turns out that most of the things I do in the workplace are in contradiction to my natural instincts as an introvert.
1. I work from home so I need to instigate telephone calls if I need to speak to a colleague
2. When meeting customers I am often required to present to a room full of people
3. I am often required to lead conversations with customers
Now, some of you will be wondering what the issue is but any introverts out there will be getting sweaty palms just reading that.
The second instance was also work related. Applications to be on a project team had to be in the form of a one minute video. Eek! I wanted to be on this team but record myself? Nope. Not for me. I don’t even like having my picture taken.
But get this. I did it anyway. Me. Yes I know.
Maybe some of this is just the Stoic in me. Work is a thing that has to be done so I just get on and do it.
The third time was more personal. In a conversation with a friend, the opportunity to tell them about this blog arose. And I told them.
To put that into context – I haven’t told any friends about this blog or invited them to like my Facebook page. It seems just too scary to open up about. Part of me is afraid they will laugh I suppose. So, like a friend at a party, I stay hidden in the background and just quietly get on with it.
Then the fourth time the theme of the fortnight rose its head and prompted me to write this post. In a post by an online mentor, the message was that it only takes 20 seconds to change your life if you choose to be courageous.
This means occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone so that you can really achieve what you want to achieve.
It means walking into a gym on your own when your training partner can’t make it.
It means applying for that job even if it isn’t what you currently do but you think you could.
It means doing that skydive that you’ve been longing to do but never looked into properly.
It could even mean commenting on a blog post or online article, or creating your own.
For me, it means inviting friends to see what I am doing. Sometimes it’s hard to put your opinion out there but I’ve got this far.
The hardest part is always the build up but once you are in it then the fear goes away. It becomes your new comfort zone.
So are you ready to get out of your comfort zone? Are you ready to take that first step that will change your life? What will you be doing?