Ever gone skydiving?
No, me neither.
How about public speaking?
I was not ready for oratory last night, but a toastmaster friend said it’s the only way to improve. Find the end of your comfort zone. Jump over it. Sure, take a little time (or a lot) to prepare, but if you keep saying, “I’m not ready,” you’ll never be ready.
When I joined Toastmasters, back in August, the goal was to listen. Learn. Give the introduction speech, then a talk once or twice a year. Preferably in low-turnout nights, surrounded by people I know. Play it safe.
But my friend, a speaker extraordinaire, said no. That will do for you exactly nada. Nothing. Get out of your comfort zone, and the rest will come.
But what if I screw up?
You won’t. But if you lay an egg, step back, laugh, and we’ll laugh with you. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Those words — from Neal Donald Walsch — are still ringing in my head.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
As I reflect upon those words, I think that’s true with everything. I was not ready to send my latest story to Red Fez Magazine. But after I read it to the point of blurry vision, I took a deep breath and clicked Send.
A month later the story was published at Red Fez.
Didn’t know whether I was ready for the A-Z Blogging Challenge last year. But in a moment of courage and madness, I said Why not? The outcome, as I already mentioned, exceeded my expectations in wonderful ways.
I learned, the hard way, that as a writer, blogger — as an earthling — I’m doing myself a disservice in keeping behind the comfort line.
All right, I don’t plan on jumping out of a plane (not yet) or mountain skiing. Still want to keep safe, limbs attached to my body, but I say The Heck with too much comfort.
So, why not give the speech? (I’ll share the pics as soon as I have them). Why not go for another challenge? Submit more stories? Why not — finally — join Twitter? Just in time, too, for the A-Z Chat tomorrow (2/28). There’s never time to do more — a universal problem — but life begins at … you know the rest. :)
Have you stood on the edge of your comfort zone? Jumped past it? How did it go?