This is the year for me to really step out of my comfort zone – a lot. It all started when I came up with the idea to write a book, a memoir. I am beginning to realize that writing it was the easy part. Now the real work begins – how to promote it! In reality I am not just promoting my book, I am promoting myself, something very, very foreign to me, not to mention uncomfortable. I have been out of my comfort zone so much this year and yet there is more to go. And because I am writing a second book, it seems like promoting is something I will have to get used to, as well as being away from my comfort zone.
What is the lure of the infamous “comfort zone”? Well, for starters, it’s comfortable! And who doesn’t want to be comfortable? To me it’s like climbing into a fluffy, soft, downy bed and pulling the covers up around your neck, snuggling in for the night. Ah, no thinking required here! Or it’s like curling up on the couch with my latest People magazine, with no one to bother me but my cats. Comfort zone. But just like being on vacation forever turns vacations into boredom, staying in the comfort zone is not good for you, mentally, physically or spiritually. “A body at rest, tends to stay at rest…”. Yes! How hard is it for you to get out of a warm and inviting bed or off of a couch that wraps itself around you in a way that makes you feel loved? Hard.
There are people who spend most of their lives in the comfort zone. These are not the pillars of society, the men and women of the military, the great inventors, entrepreneurs, heroes, teachers, scientists, authors, etc. No, these people get out of their comfort zones regularly. And I will tell you why. Because you cannot grow in the comfort zone. You cannot stretch and become more than you were the day before. You cannot achieve greatness or anything above what you already have, while occupying the place where you are comfortable all of the time. It doesn’t work that way.
When your life is going along smoothly, you are on a straight line, the same level, no big changes or stresses to bring you out of yourself. Life feels pretty good, but there is no real growth going on during these times. When something happens and your world is turned upside down, that is when you are challenged, that is when you grow. I had a psychologist tell me once that the only way you know you are growing is if it hurts.
So this Sunday I am having my first official book signing at Warwick’s Bookstore in La Jolla, from noon-2pm. I probably will not sleep well the night before and will be nervous when I first walk into the store. But I believe I will have a great time, and I will feel more confident when I leave there. Why? Because I stepped out of my comfort zone and allowed myself to grow a little. Would it be easier to stay home, curled up on the couch with a good book? I could eliminate the nerves and sleep better the night before! Yes, but my life would be the same. I would be the same. We were put here to grow and to learn and to make a difference. You can’t do that if you never leave your comfort zone. Being “uncomfortable” can become your favorite way to be! (Yeah, I’m still working on that.) :))
Example of me, out of my comfort zone. My first horse show, June 2013.