It’s been said that people’s #1 fear is public speaking and #2 is death (people would rather die than speak in public). For most people I know (there are those few crazy exceptions), public speaking and death are both way outside their comfort zones. There are many other things that are outside our comfort zones that feel just as scary as public speaking or death.
My friend (let’s call her Marge) would rather die than go to a movie by herself. This is an activity I have found very enjoyable. I like going whenever the mood strikes me. I don’t have to coordinate my schedule with anyone else. I don’t have to share the armrest, and there is no debate about whether or not to butter the popcorn (by the way, the answer is always YES). Marge says she would not be caught dead at a movie by herself. I have tried many times to explain the feeling and the freedom, but she just won’t do it.
It was a small step, but for me it was a step in the right direction. Breaking out of my comfort zone about moviegoing has led to bigger steps. Over the years, I have left my comfort zone a few times and have been able to check things off my bucket list. I have been skydiving. I went back to college as an adult (and had to take a public speaking class—imagine my surprise, when in fact, I did not die), and now I own my own home. All these things were very scary at the time and were way outside my comfort zone.
The really important stuff happens outside your comfort zone. It’s time—time to try something small and a little scary. The voice you hear says, “I am afraid to go to the movies by myself,” but now add, “...but I’m going to do it anyway.” If it makes you feel better, write it down. Do whatever it takes to make it stick with you. Then do it.
Now rejoice in your victory. This is an important step. Remember what it felt like when you overcame that fear, when you did something that you thought was impossible. Voice your joy.
Try this and you will be on your way. Start with the small stuff and move toward the big stuff. Take one step at a time, and the big stuff doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
I’ll see you at the movies.