I’m always looking for new adventures to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve written about this many times in the past and believe it’s the best way to make memories, build confidence, and feel alive. The latest encounter I had with going out of my comfort zone was an interesting one. It wasn’t a new hobby that I thought I’d try, or an activity that required a level of skill to accomplish. Rather it was an exercise that was meant to get you comfortable with being uncomfortable. Here’s what I mean.
I recently started an online course about entrepreneurship and getting out of your comfort zone. So far it’s going well. Throughout this course there are daily challenges that need to be done in order to move on to the next section of the class. These challenges are meant for us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Now sure, I could just say I did the challenge and move on to the next portion of the class. But, I promised myself that I would take this seriously and follow through on everything the course outlined for me to do. I mean, what’s the point of signing up for a course, spending the money, investing the time, and not do what the course is preaching? Therefore, I took it upon myself to do what the course says no matter how silly I feel doing some of the challenges. Again, the point of the course is to get out of my comfort zone so if I feel funny doing something, that’s a good reason why I should do it.
The first challenge I did was one I’ve never heard of. And to be totally honest, I almost passed on doing it. But, I remembered that the point is to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable so once it was on my mind, there was no way I could let it go. The first challenge was to ask a person for a dollar. The person could be a friend or a stranger, in person or over the internet. My initial feeling to reading the challenge was embarrassment. I felt it would be embarrassing to ask for a dollar from a friend. On top of that, it would feel down grading to mention how I was taking a course and that’s what the course told me to do. The point of the exercise was to get used to asking for money because in the entrepreneurial world, you will have to be asking a lot. We all feel comfortable giving, but asking was something that makes a lot of us feel strange. Nevertheless, I mustered up the strength and asked two friends that I thought would judge me the least. And both thought it was unusual and funny and sent me $1! I felt pretty good after that. Not because I took their money, but because I had two great friends that trusted me. It brought a smile to my face seeing the notification that $1 was sent to me. One challenge down.
The next challenge was even more uncomfortable. BUT, once accomplished I realized this feeling of awkwardness is just in our heads. It’s liberating to get pass that fake limitation and push beyond what you thought you could do. The next challenge was to ask for a 10% discount the next time you are checking out at a cash register. This one I’ve heard about before this course, but I never did it. I thought to myself how silly it is. Then I reminded myself that this is what the course is trying to do. It’s trying to push you into uncomfortable situations and see if you can get out of them. Again, once it was on my mind, I knew there was no way I’d feel good unless I just did it. So, I walked to the nearby liquor store and grabbed two bottles of wine off the shelves. One Malbec and one Cabernet Sauvignon. I was super nervous as I approached the check out. This challenge was more difficult than the first challenge, as I was dealing with face to face communication now. I was nervous. But I talked myself down and it was soon my turn at the register. I passed the cashier my two bottles and asked loud and clear if they offer a 10% discount. The reaction on his face was priceless. He looked so confused and was wondering why I said that. He took his time and eventually said, “uhh no”. No problem. I paid my dues and left after wishing him a good day. The feeling I had as I walked home was amazing. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing at myself. I can’t believe I actually did that. It was an amazing feeling. I felt a rush of energy and confidence and had a feeling of accomplishment. I celebrated with a glass of the Malbec that I just bought then got back to work.
These interactions aren’t easy. But it goes to show that the biggest limitation we have is often ourselves. In both challenges, there was literally no downside. I could only gain money whether it be the $1 or the discount. The only other option was a simple “no” in response, leaving me exactly where I was before the challenge. But the point of the challenge isn’t to collect the money. The point of the challenge is to overcome your fears. It didn’t matter to me that the liquor store cashier said no. I was in such a good mood after that I didn’t care. I accomplished my goal of asking for the discount. My goal wasn’t to get the discount. It was to ask for the discount and get out of my comfort zone and that I did. It’s important to remind ourselves to get out of our comfort zone from time to time. It shows us that life isn’t as serious as we make it out to be sometimes. It also shows us that our biggest limitations are often ourselves. Find something to get out of your comfort zone. You’ll become more confident, get used to rejection, and perhaps make some good memories along the way. Drop a comment below on a time how you got out of your comfort zone.