Edward Whitacre, Jr.
“Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.”
Life is about movement. Forward, backward, up, down, left, and right—we stretch in every direction. Movement and flow is integral to experience. When we stall, plateau or stay in one spot, we keep the same view, the same attitude, and the same knowledge. Sometimes we will allow that movement to stall out because we are afraid because we have been hurt, or because we are in a state of confusion. It is when we allow ourselves to move again, that we allow ourselves to live and grow once more. There are also times when maybe we don’t swim; we let the currents take us.
There is a water park in the amusement park near my house that has exciting slides, waterfalls, and this “lazy river” ride where you just get on a floaty and let the slow current move you around this curving “river”. Now I like to be lazy as much as the next person, but I always seem to want to go down the biggest slide! I like having water unexpectedly hit my face, I like when the raft goes too fast and I tumble out at the bottom and my friends and I laugh. I like having that experience. It’s stepping outside this carefully coiffed demeanor and giving not only myself but also others a chance to laugh at me. Stepping outside your comfort zone can be a very good thing, at times.
In Comes Yoga
we all have those poses that we work with in order to be challenged. Sometimes we put them off in anticipation, sometimes we think we are not ready, and sometimes the pose makes us question things about ourselves that maybe we are not ready for yet. I had a friend tell me a story once about her first yoga class. She arrived one day and her small class of 8 had only 2 people there because of traffic jam (DC as usual, am I right?). Rather than cancel class, the yoga instructor used the intimate moment to challenge the two of them with poses that she felt perhaps the rest of the class was not ready to attempt. My friend found herself attempting (and succeeding) in poses that she had never tried before. She had been asked to step outside her immediate comfort zone, and when she asked the instructor why she was told, “for the experience.”
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Life is just one experience after another. Those experiences we remember always have some element of daring associated with them. Whether it is love or yoga, taking a risk can be good. Stepping outside your comfort zone helps define you and shape who you will become. The risk may pay off and turn out the way you want, or you may find yourself at the bottom of the super slide trying to find your bathing suit bottom—either way you’ve had an experience and that’s really what life is all about.