Tomorrow I’m going to do something that will take me out of my comfort zone.
If there’s no risk, no fear, no possibility of failure, are you advancing, progressing or learning?
Tomorrow I’m going to do something I could have avoided. I could have, extremely easily, just said no. I didn’t have to do it, no one is expecting me to do it and it wouldn’t hurt or harm or hinder anyone if I didn’t do it. They would all understand.
In fact, I could just sit on the sidelines, never mention that I was even thinking about doing it and that would make the whole thing even easier because I would’t have to make up anything about why I wasn’t doing it because the thought of even starting it never surfaced.
Do you dare step out of your comfort zone? Do you take the challenge even when you don’t have to?
There are so many reasons I could think of to not do it. Many excuses I could argue as to why I decided to not do it. But there were a few reasons to go ahead with it and one of them was nagging at me more than any other:
Because the thought of it made me uncomfortable.Some coaches in basketball say that if you don’t have any personal fouls against you in a game that you didn’t play hard enough. In Silicon Valley, if you don’t have a failed start-up under your belt, you haven’t really learned how to run a business. If you never risk losing or receiving a no or give yourself up to the possibility of failure, then you’re playing the safe card. Well, actually, you’re not even playing, you’re not even in the game. You’re on the sidelines because you have nothing to lose–but you also have nothing to gain.
Am I only going through with it because I have possibly something to gain? It’s odd, but I’m not so concerned about the outcome, I’m more interested in just defying my safer self and going for it, knowing full well it could be a disaster.
I might get laughed at, even yelled at. My credentials, or more accurately, my lack of credentials might come into question. I might have 12-year olds who don’t even respect me. I don’t know the vocabulary in Dutch. I might lose face with strangers who otherwise might have been friends. I don’t have any (read: zero) experience doing it. I might completely fail and ruin an entire year for a bunch of kids–and their families. Why don’t I just sit it out and let someone else do it?
Because I’m scared. Because I know that if I’m scared, it’s something I should probably do. Because I’m up for a challenge. Because, at this point in my life, there is next to nothing that could possibly bring me down from the deep happiness I have in the simplest of mundane interactions.
But it also could go well. Swimmingly well. I might learn something–no, I’m certainly going to learn something. I might be able to teach something. It might change my life. It might change the life of someone else. It might be fun.
I know exactly what will happen if I don’t do it: nothing. Not much. Predictability.
I have little idea what will happen if I set up and do it: surprises, adventure and the unknown. For better or worse.
But tomorrow I’m going to do it. At this point, I can’t turn back. Not because everyone is expecting me to do it, but more because no one is expecting me to do it. Except me.