See – I have this thing called a comfort zone. She’s my favorite place to be – at least if I’m not thinking beyond today. She knows just what I like and she keeps me far away from what I don’t like. If something sounds like it might fall outside of her, we just avoid that. She and I are pretty tight.
This week, I told my comfort zone to take a hike and we launched our silo Airbnb!
Maybe that doesn’t sound crazy to you, but we all know how it feels when we step out and do something new.
My Flying Farmer husband says that launching an Airbnb feels like the first few yards of assent after liftoff. I asked him to describe that feeling, and he said it’s the excitement of realizing you’re in the air with the fear of realizing the ground is still close enough to beg for the imprint of your face. Although I can’t vouch for how that feels, I can vouch for my held breath every time I watch him take off into the sky.
We wouldn’t have launched the Airbnb if my comfort zone was in charge. When she’s in charge, she tells me she is keeping me safe, but I’m learning that I think she’s actually keeping me small. This week, she didn’t get her way, and I lived to tell the story.
Sometimes when we do things outside of our comfort zones, we think it might kill us. For example, 75% of people rank public speaking as their number one fear. If it’s actually the number one fear, that means that 75% of people would rather die than speak in public. Perhaps that’s dramatic, but that is what a comfort zone will do to you.
What would your comfort zone have kept you from doing if it was never challenged? I never would have learned to walk for fear of the falling. Certainly riding a bike would be out of the question.
This week, my four-year-old came running to me with a disheveled look about him and a face full of gravel. He’s mastering his balance bike this summer, which comes with its own bumps and bruises. I can only imagine the horror of skidding my face on the gravel. What an insult to my zone of comfort. But you know what it’ll never tell you? That’s where you learn the most. Outside of her. Outside of the known and comfortable. That’s where you grow.
Sometimes being pushed outside of her is the best thing for you.
Every other week, my husband and I take our six-month-old daughter who was born with a brain condition to PT and OT. Those therapy sessions are designed to push our daughter out of her comfort zone for HER good. Therapy is never comfortable, but it is essential.
After one particularly difficult session of therapy, I was feeling incredibly anxious about how much crying and yelling the therapists had caused as they pushed Adeline to perform various activities. My anxiety soon melted into thankfulness as I realized the therapists have her best interest in mind and they know good things are worth fighting for.
What is worth fighting for in your life? Is your comfort zone calling the shots and keeping you small?
I’m slowly learning that it’s ok to begin. I’m hear you tell you it’s ok to be scared. Sometimes we get the crazy idea that anything worth doing has to be done perfectly. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In our PT appointments, we celebrate the tiniest milestones for Adeline. Every step towards growth – even if it’s small – is worth the “pain” in the end.
What might that be for you? Maybe it’s public speaking. Maybe it’s launching a business. Maybe it’s building an Airbnb in an old silo and then putting it out for the world to see.
Whatever it is for you – if your inner comfort zone starts panic breathing at the thought – take my word for it – it’s not going to kill you, and you just might grow.
If you’d like to see pictures of my “scary” go to airbnb.com/h/siloloft.
With all this talk of stepping outside our comfort zones, here’s a comfort food recipe for you.
Meet your farmer – Liz Gerdes. She and her husband run a farm-to-table raw milk dairy. They empower moms to confidently feed their families nutrient-dense food using farm fresh milk! Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com or follow her on Facebook @gerdesfreshfarm or Instagram @gerdesliz for more info.