‘Before anything great is really achieved, your comfort zone must be disturbed.‘ ~ Ray Lewis
If you ask me what my comfort zone consists of, it would be me being sprawled across the couch mindlessly eating crisps and chocolates while having the superpower to browse through social media and simultaneously watching reruns of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I admit that still makes up for some of my weekends.
I was reminiscing all the fun things I have managed to do so far and realised that most of those experiences were when I stepped just a bit outside my comfort zone.
I am neither a motivational speaker nor have I given any TED talks. I just tend to write my own personal journey and struggles.
Why this means to me so much? Well as my close ones know, I am an introvert. It takes me a long time to get acquainted to people or routines and even longer to initiate or try something new. The resistance is always in my mind. Why should I do it? What if people make fun of me? Oh god, I will have to travel far for it, or I am too old for this. And then it sets a mental block for me. Even anaesthetising for a surgical case I have never done before gives me jitters days in advance.
1.Writing a blog
Comfort zones are quite subjective. So writing a blog would come naturally for some, whereas for me it was like coming out of my shell. Sharing my personal story for anyone and everyone to read is a bit intimidating, but I had to give it a try. Well, I was a self praised poetess before medical school knocked that passion out of me. I felt an inkling to start writing and I started out publishing anonymously to begin with. Slowly I gained the courage to post my name with the blogs. So now, if and when I feel inspired I start writing those ideas down. And it gives me great joy even when the blog fetches me 10 views for the day! And doesn’t hurt to add ‘blogger’ when I introduce my self, hahaha!
Before 2018, I had not travelled much. A few trips before had always been planned by the travel agent and I had an itinerary to follow. Till one of my best friends, Divyadarshni inspired me to. I agreed to go on a trip with her. And to my horror there wasn’t any itinerary planned. But all that mindless roaming about taught me more about Prague than any guide book could. And since then the love for travelling continues. The local culture, nature, local transport, cuisines etc etc is so much exciting and fun to learn from. From over-planning to just winging it, I think it has helped me evolve by leaps and bounds.
Okay. I didn’t even know what I was getting into until I reached the site. All I thought was ‘Ek baar toh karna hi hai bhai” (have to try it atleast once). And then I saw people actually jumping off the plane, completely rattled me. I froze. And again thanks to Divya, I dived into the clouds! What did I achieve, if you ask me? Its a sense of accomplishment, its an experience. So sometimes ignorance is bliss when stepping out of your zone.
4. Working in another country
I have rambled on and on about it this another series of blogs. But coming straight to the point, yes I was nervous and scared but all worked out for the best and I have had the most enriching experience of my life so far! Thankfully I had the courage to give the online interview even when the situation wasn’t favourable for me.
5. Learning to swim
Yes, I cannot swim as an adult. What a shame! I never had the need nor the resources to learn in my childhood. Until I had to give up an opportunity to scuba dive. Water surface sports have never stopped me before like river rafting, para sailing. I have even done under water walk, yet having to rely on someone deep under water freaks me out. The logistics of finding classes after work and making an attempt to attend was just too much drudgery. Nonetheless I have taken the effort and started the classes. Hopefully I will be swimming away to glory very soon!
I do not possess a single athletic bone in my body. It was my written rule that never could I ever accomplish any strenuous physical feats. Until I was in Edinburgh and in the spirit of trying to see all the tourist places, my friend and I decided to hike up Arthur’s seat, an extinct volcano peak towering around 822 ft. Oblivious of the fact that we were on an difficult route, we managed to push ourselves to reach the very top after an hour of huffing and puffing out of breath. But oh man! The sense of achievement it gives you, something that you never know you could conquer. And then came Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales at 3,560 ft. With a lot of encouragement from my friends we hiked all the way up together and those heavenly views from up there were all worth the pain we endured. 6 hours!
I am a lazy soul, but I am learning slowly. Trying to step out one foot at a time. Apart from all the above instances the greatest reward I earned was love. Meeting my husband and falling in love was the biggest step outside my comfort zone. And that led to something magical.
All I want to emphasise is that, it is never too late. If you have had that thought, try it out. What is the worst thing that can happen? You might fail, but at least you get the satisfaction of trying. Every single one of us has that untapped potential. Hope you discover yours soon!
I am going to quote my favourite author. Twice.
‘Going after a dream has a price. It may mean abandoning our habits. It may make us go through hardships, or it may lead us to disappointments. But however costly, it is never as high as the price paid by people who live in his/her comfort zone‘.
‘If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.’ ~ Paulo Coelho
Copyright 2018 Chris Lemos All rights reserved