There is a first time for everything…….
Do you get tense, anxious, nervous when someone asks you to do something that is completely out of your comfort zone? I do! And maybe you’re like me, avoid the task all together? When I first started running way back in high-school, I had no idea it would lead to a first marathon!
Later running became a way for me to relieve more stress and tension in college! Running was still fun, but it also was a vehicle for me to keep my sanity and relieve stress. I had no intentions of running a marathon, or even a half for that matter! Local 5k, 10K and occasionally 8 or 10 milers were all distances that seemed appropriate. 13.1 or 26.2…those were way out of my radar…so I thought.
However, a friend of mine who I used to work with at my previous Chemistry career approached me and asked, “Karen, would you like to train and run the Twin Cities Marathon this year?” I thought to myself,….are you crazy! He knew (and so did the entire town of Hutchinson by than) I loved to run, so he didn’t think anything of it!
And I said….“Why would you or anyone want to run 26.2 miles?” “After all, it’s gotta be uncomfortable, painful and the thought of running that far, scares the hell out of me Steve!” Totally out of my comfort zone!
But guess what, the same ‘you’ however, would be over the top when it comes to encouraging your baby who is afraid to walk on his own. Walking on their own is obviously outside their comfort zone. That is why babies are afraid. Yet, you would give them no choice but to do it.
You would cheer and clap your hands. If you are the parent then you would probably jump for joy and make a spectacle of yourself, when your child takes that first step. So just like when you encourage a child to take his or her first steps, how about giving yourself no choice at least once in a while? There is always a first-time for everything…and running my first marathon wasn’t easy, but I did it.
And each and every marathon after that has been hard too and but that feeling you get when you cross two lines, (start and finish) is probably as amazing as those first steps as a child. It’s crazy when you think about it really. As an adult we make choices all the time, and most often we don’t let anyone force us to do something, especially something that scares us! My friend Steve never forced me to run that first marathon and no one has forced me to run 22 others, but I over came that fear, got out of my comfort zone and discovered the marathon distance is my new favorite distance to run.
So pretend you don’t have a choice, just like your child probably doesn’t have a choice taking those first steps. They have no choice but to learn to walk on their own. Of course they’ll fall, but they’ll get up, and they’ll give it a go one more time. Sure there’s me, and probably other softies, who will assist, and yes, even those soft kinds don’t let go if you don’t want to walk on your own. But sooner or later, there is no choice but to learn to walk on your own.
So, what do you do if you don’t have a choice? You just do it.
As adults, we like to believe we have a choice. We convince ourselves with a variety of reasons to avoid something that is so scary and is completely out of our comfort zones. Most of the time we get away with it.
I remember when I first started my business, left my career in Chemistry, and went to work for myself, I was scared out of my wits! But I sucked it up, prayed a lot, did many things that were way out of my comfort zone. I failed, but I got up, and learned from my mistakes. I continue to do more things out of my comfort zone, not because someone forces me, but because I I love everything about this company and I want everything it has to offer; but just like training for a marathon, or taking those first steps, it doesn’t just happen. I knew it’s what I needed to do. Because I never gave up, got up and did it again, I have built a very successful business. Has it been easy? NO! But according to what I have read & experienced, nothing in life worth working for is suppose to be easy, I like to think of myself as “an active student”….always learning, always growing, always trying to get better!
“Guess what else I did for the very first time?” One year ago this month, I posted my first blog-post! Congratulations to me! It was scary making that first post, but I am so happy I did! And thank you readers!
I have one suggestion for you all……..
If you love encouraging your children and you love helping them overcome fear, you probably encourage them to do what scares them.
If you believe that is the right approach for your kids, the next time, someone or something challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, give yourself no choice. Cheer for yourself, jump for joy and make a spectacle of yourself, when you finally take that first step. After all, that wasn’t easy, but you did it!
“Facing your fears and living a life that’s free is easy. Spending the rest of your days living half a life is hard.” ― Eric Worre,