comfort zone

Day 10 challenge was to get out of my comfort zone.  Why is it so hard to get out of our comfort zone?  When I was younger I was not what you would call a shy person.  I was always very outgoing and surrounded myself with people.  Over the last several years that started to change.  When I left my abusive relationship for good a few years ago, I had to force myself to get out of the house.  I would make plans with one of my closest friends, but when the time came, I would make some excuse for why I wasn’t able to go and then I would stay home and watch a movie.  The closer and closer it got to when we were supposed to meet up, I would get super anxious.  It was more comfortable for me to just stay home by myself.  I hated that I was that way.  There were so many times that I wanted to just become a hermit and stay in my house, never leaving.  Unfortunately, being a hermit was not a realistic plan since I had children with busy schedules as well as a job dealing with people all day long.

Today, I am still somewhat apprehensive to get out at times.  I make plans a week ahead and then when the time comes, I try to back out.  Luckily my family makes me get up and get out of the house.

Getting out of your comfort zone could also mean doing something you wouldn’t normally do such as jumping out of an airplane or going to a movie by yourself.  Today’s challenge was more about doing something that I normally wouldn’t do so that is just what I did.  I have lived in my house for just over 2 years now and only know 2 of my neighbors; the ones that live next door to us and one a few houses down where one of my daughter’s friends lives.  Many of the houses on my street are summer rental properties since we live on the lake.  Many of them are vacant for a large part of the year.  There is however, a couple that live across the street year round.  I see the man outside all the time, but I’ve never acknowledged him.  I haven’t even waved at him as I’ve driven passed.  I’m not meaning to be rude, it just makes me really anxious to think about walking up to a stranger in my neighborhood.  I do have some left over trust issues as to be expected.  It’s one thing to approach a stranger in a public place, but one who knows where you live and when you are home alone is a different story for me.

Because of this challenge, I forced myself to walk over to his house when I saw him out picking up around the yard.  My heart was pounding and my palms were sweating but I made it all the way over there before he noticed me.  As I got just a few feet away he turned and saw me.  I startled him.  I immediately apologized for startling him and explained to him that I thought it was time to introduce myself.  He was very cordial and smiled in a way that put me at ease instantly.  He introduced himself and gave me the name of his wife who was not at home at the moment.  We briefly made small talk about the neighborhood and the fact that the weather was finally warming up enough to get outside to do yard work and then I let him get back to work and I walked back across the street with a big smile on my face.  I didn’t jump out of an airplane, but I was proud of myself for not letting my anxiety get in the way of being neighborly.

Stepping outside of my comfort zone was liberating.  It didn’t even kill me, ha ha. I think I will try to do things like this more often.  Especially if it makes me feel as strong as this did.

If you have something that makes you anxious, but has no real reason to, see if you can step outside your comfort zone.  Good luck!!

To see the entire 21 day challenge read Be a better you.