I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of a “comfort zone.” You know, the place where we feel comfortable, be that at work, at school, while traveling, even in the clothes we wear and food we eat. We’ve gotten to know what we’re good at, what we like, where we enjoy going on a Saturday night, and what types of people attract us. It’s good to know ourselves and what defines us. But, I wonder if there can be more.
As some of you know, I ran the NYC Marathon last month. It was my third and definitely last marathon! I ran Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011 and swore never to do it again. But there I was in the city that never sleeps, the one where I was born. Why? It’s on my bucket list! I always said I’d run New York when I turned 50. Well, I’ll be 50 this August.
Long-distance running is out of ANYONE’S comfort zone and mine especially. I’m not an athletic person by nature. The only sport I’m good at is bowling! But I like to run because it’s free and I’m alone for probably the only time of the day. But I was excited and scared and nervous and scared…did I say scared twice?
Our editorial director Key gave me a new job for our November issue last month. It’s something I’d never done before and she wasn’t there to teach me. But she was slammed with putting out the biggest issue of the year and needed help. Doing new things at work DEFINITELY puts me out of my comfort zone, especially when it involves computers.
But, I took a deep breath, followed directions as best I could, and figured it out. You know what? I did it! I learned something new, giving Key more time to do the things she’s good at and I feel proud of myself. Now, this new job is in my “comfort zone” and I’m a better worker for it.
What’s going on in your life that could stretch you out of your comfort zone? Is it calling potential new locations? Learning how to fix something new? Calling that architect and starting the process of expansion? Calling the bank to discuss a loan? All of these things can be tough for most people, but we all know that every time we do them, we’re so glad we did. We might make more money, benefit our communities and, in the case of running a marathon, bask in the glow of running 26.2 miles.
So, what can you do today to get out of your “comfort zone?” I bet there’s something that comes to the top of your list and you’ve been putting off. Just do it. If you want some inspiration, check out my marathon page at crowdrise.com/ingridmilkes.
–– Ingrid Adlum Milkes