A few months ago I made a commitment to myself to start stepping out of my comfort zone more. I had fallen into a too-well-worn groove that was sapping the energy out of me. So when I saw a notice for a PaintDancing event last Friday, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to put that commitment to work.
What, you might ask, is PaintDancing? Well, take a paint brush, some paint, a liberal dose of hip shakin' music and a bunch of people who just want to hang out and have fun with no pretensions, shake it all up, and presto! PaintDancing.
It's a fund-raising event started by a Seattle artist by the name of Matt Jones. All the proceeds from the event go towards his non-profit, MashedPotatoes.org. (More on Matt in my post on Motto's blog today.)
I love to dance, and I figured that I knew which end of the brush to dip into the paint (that's about the extent of my knowledge of painting), so even though it was outside my comfort zone, if worse came to worst I could fake my way through it. It was a do-able discomfort.
Even so, it was a challenge to overcome my couch's gravitational field. Before I left home there was this persistent voice in my head that went something like, "You don't have to go. Just hang out at home tonight. You're not an artist. You can go next time. This couch is awfully comfortable. You won't know anyone. Aren't you feeling a little tired?"
All of which, of course, was a long way of saying, "I don't know what to expect and I feel a bit scared of it. Let's not do it."
As it turned out, I had such a good time that I was positively flying by the time I went home. I wondered if I was going to be able to get to sleep. I can hardly wait until the next one. Only this time I won't be feeling the fear of the unknown - it will be the delight of anticipation.
..think there might be any lesson here?
It's amazing what there is to be had outside the comfort zone. How much fun, opportunity, learning, and growth. Before I went I was dragging my feet. The only reason I actually showed up was because I had signed up and committed to being there. Afterwards, I was incredibly energized.
What about you? Where can you step out of that comfort zone and discover something new and interesting? What have you been wanting to do, but it's just been too unfamiliar so you haven't?
Why not find a way to step outiside your zone this week? It could be goofy and fun, or it could be serious and challenging. Then post a comment here to let us know how it went.
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM