Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

We all tend to get in ruts in our professional and personal lives, and stay in our comfort zone because it is, well, comfortable and safe.
My end of summer challenge for Catalyze members is to stop being complacent and do something about it.  It could be something big or small; it may be as easy as trying a new restaurant or coffee shop, visiting someplace you’ve never been, talking to a stranger or taking the ‘long way’ home.

As an example, I got out of my comfort zone last week when I completed a 2-mile ocean swim with my wife and 900 others.  The swim consisted of swimming out around the piers from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach.  I have lived near the beach in California and Pacific Ocean for 20 years, and go in the water every summer, but rarely do I venture out in water over my head.

I am a runner, not a swimmer – and I’m a little chicken about things that can bump into you in the ocean.  However, my wife started telling people that we were going to do the swim about 6 months ago, so our “reputations” were on the line. So, I added some lap swimming to my exercise routine starting in May and worked up to swimming a mile.  We also added four ocean swims to get somewhat comfortable with the notion of swimming without lane markers, sides and a black stripe on the bottom.  While we didn’t set any records last week, we finished the race (and we weren’t last) – and it’s safe to say that the feeling was exhilarating and our complacency has been “shaken”.  The hard part about swimming is that is a little boring – as it is deprives the senses.  Imagine not talking to anyone, tasting salty water, hearing only the sound of your own breathing and arms hitting the water, and looking through foggy goggles for a little over an hour.  If you can do that, then you  could swim two miles in the ocean too.  The bigger deal is that I did something I didn’t think I could ever do and have gained confidence to face down some of my fears.

It is interesting to see how “complacency-busting” activities like this can carry over into other aspects of your life and now I know why people do things like climb mountains, do the Ironman and push themselves in feats of physical endurance.

In a related vein, I stumbled across an interesting website this week called SuperViva.  SuperViva lets you make a list of things you want to do in your personal or professional life and gives you tools to help you track your progress toward accomplishment.  If you don’t know what you want to do, you can even browse the goals and to-do’s of other people to give you ideas.  Go to www.SuperViva.com or click on the ad below.  (SuperViva is FREE too).

Get a life list and live your dreams at SuperViva

So, get inspired!  Pick an idea or goal, shake off the cobwebs of complacency and let us know how it goes…

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