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This week, as I’ve thought about life outside the comfort zone, I shared what I discovered with you on Wednesday (click here to be taken to that post) and on Thursday (click here to be taken to that post).
I’ve been thinking a lot about yesterday’s post how life outside the comfort zone can be terrifying, but it can also be exhilarating. I realized that those two emotions are separated by only a thin shaving of an even thinner line.
Designers of roller coaster and other amusement park rides know this fact very well and liberally incorporate it into their designs.
You may be thinking: Well, isn’t that nice. But how the heck does it apply to me and my goal of going for my dreams?!
Here’s how it applies: Notice that when you are on the rides—or if you’ve never been on but only watched from the safety of terra firma (!)—you’ll see that you aren’t always terrified; you’re also exhilarated, sometimes in spite of the terror!
Take, for instance when you’re on a roller coaster: First, you climb in the cart and strap in, feeling excited because you’re not sure what to expect, and nervous because you’re not sure what to expect (yes, I repeated this phrase on purpose). The car you’re in chugs along on a short straightaway, maybe around a corner. Then you start climbing that first, enormous hill.
As you’re going up, you enjoy the sights; perhaps you check your straps to make sure you’re buckled in, and you may even tighten your grip on the bar that’s in front of you. You’re still happy to be on the ride because you’ve heard “It’s amazing!” and you’re excited you’re experiencing it for yourself.
Then you get to the top of the hill.
This is where your excitement turns to apprehension and you—briefly—question your sanity for having gotten on this thing, especially when you look straight ahead and see nothing but air.
So then, foolishly, you look down
and see the bottom is MILES away.
Then you really wonder what the heck were you thinking when you got onto this ride?!
Fear and terror hit you like the heavyweight champions that they are and you pray like you never have before, begging and pleading Someone (anyone!!) that the design and construction engineers got A++’s in all their design engineering classes—and that if they didn’t that somehow, luck was with them when they built this ride….
And then you plummet.
And down some more.
You come out of the dive and swoop up another hill. You rocket down and sling around a sharp corner. Then you realize that although you’re screaming your head off, you’re also laughing! Yes you’re going fast, yes you’re still hanging on for dear life, but you’re also loving the intensity of the experience.
Then you get off and—to your complete surprise—you’re full of energy!
you want to do it again!
Your homework today is to remind yourself that going for your dreams WILL take you outside your comfort zone. Yes, it’ll be terrifying, but it’ll also be exhilarating and energizing.
Keep this in mind as you think through your week and note the times you were feeling fear or terror. As you remember what it felt like, remind yourself that it’s a thin, thin line to step over into exhilaration and that you can take this tiny, tiny step.
Brainstorm some actions you could take as well as what other thoughts you could think that would trigger feelings of energy and excitement rather than fear and terror. Jot these down and keep them handy so that you have a guide for the next time.
Also keep in mind that the terror won’t last—it’s just the downward plunge of the first hill—and soon you’ll be swooping up again and feeling excited.
Most importantly, notice the progress you’ve made this week. Applaud yourself for breaking a big step into smaller ones. Pat yourself on the back for taking the tiny step. Celebrate the fact that you crossed the line out of your comfort zone!
WooHoo! Go You!
I knew you could do it, I just knew it!
I’m so proud of you!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,