Let me start by saying this is NOT easy!!! It’s scary. It’s challenging. It’s exhausting! But…It’s necessary! It’s rewarding! And it may actually be a little fun!!!
I am a very structured, routine person. My comfort zone is living within that structure and organization. Not going to lie, I have chaos in my life. LOTS OF IT! But I still get teased and am told it is organized chaos and perfectly planned with back up plans in place! Spontaneity and adventure, is not something that makes me comfortable. Now, I have a daughter who flies by the seat of her pants all the time! Structure to her is annoying and WAY overrated. Routine is boring. And I’m quite the “Debbie Downer” with all my calendars, lists and plans most days. We do a lot of “adventures” but of course they are planned to a T!!!
So, how did I get out of my comfort zone? I allowed my daughter to plan a weekend day. Of course I use the word “plan” extremely loosely. I went to bed on Friday night with NO IDEA what was going on the next day. I was already having a “moment”! HA! So she gets up around 10 am and watches a little TV, still no update as to what we are doing. About an hour later, she asks if we can grab something to eat at one of her favorite restaurants. I started to say, “Where are we going after that? Not sure if it is on our way to…” Then I thought, why does it matter? She wants to go. It’s not like it is two hours away. So what if we have to go 15 minutes out of the way? It’s only 15 minutes!!!! After lunch, she knew we needed to go the grocery store so we went, but she said NO GROCERY LIST!!! Ok, now I am completely freaking out!!! No list?? What if I forget something? Let me share with you that shopping that day was HILARIOUS!!! We had the most random things in the cart. We had a workout like no other because we went from one side to the store to the other with absolutely no rhyme or reason. Did I forget things, of course I did! But grocery shopping isn’t nearly that fun! She decided to go to a movie 20 minutes before the next showing. It takes 12 minutes to get there, depending on the line to purchase tickets, popcorn and soda all in 20 minutes???? OMG! I might miss a preview and I won’t get my favorite spot. Guess what, I survived! Movie was just as good as if we had arrived there early, and Nikki thought it was hysterical that I was so rattled over what she considered “ridiculous, random things.” The day progressed with one spontaneous thing after another. I was exhausted at the end of the day. Not because we did so many things physically, but that it was more mentally draining.
Now think about what your comfort zone is and how we force people to get outside of theirs just to conform to ours. That Saturday was heaven for Nikki. NOT ME!!! But what about all the Saturdays I am in my comfort zone? I never really thought how OUT of hers she really was. Yes, I am the mom, so by default I have seniority (HA!) but I never really stopped to think about it. No wonder I get attitude and apathy. I wanted to give her the same thing when the roles were reversed!
So I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone. At work? Do your prime calling time the same time every day. Really work on your Circle of Influence. Redo that report even if Excel makes you freak out! At home? Even if it is mix match day at school, let them wear it! Take a different way to work. Listen to new music. What can you do to help someone out of their comfort zone? Work with them on writing a company blog or newsletter article. Help them improve their presentation skills.
And now I am on my way BACK to the store with my real grocery list, and that won’t be near as much fun as my last trip.
Until next week…
Written by Jenn Cox, COO at Bild & Company.