Ah yes…the CZ…
In this instance it stands for Comfort Zone (yes in military jargon it means Combat Zone; I know…I know…) and we ALL have one. For some it’s the hum drum of modern suburban life; for others it’s the thrill of descending head first out of an airplane before they yank the cord of the parachute. Yes even the adrenaline junkies have their CZ; it’s not hum drum but it’s their CZ none the less.
However; remaining in your chosen CZ can be detrimental to your own existence. When you stay in your CZ you stagnate while the world passes you by. Now I am not saying everyone needs to go out and skydive or bungee jump (or in the reverse drop anchor in suburbia); that is not the message.
The message is to explore outside of your CZ. The size of step is up to you; it can be gargantuan or it can be a ‘toe in the water’ exploration. There could be some discomfort…which is why it’s called leaving your comfort zone…funny how that works yeah?
I have recently left my CZ; and looking at it from the outside I am not 100% sure I even want to go back into it just yet.
Some of my experiences outside my CZ.
I recently drove a 14ft moving truck. Have never really driven anything quite so large; sure I drove the big F550’s and Ecoline Vans when I worked at a Ford Dealership (Hello everyone at Metro Ford Sales Ltd in Calgary); yet that was mostly limited to the parking lot and service bay area. But this time I would be driving in serious Calgary weekend traffic; with a fully loaded truck. I was apprehensive at first; but I screwed my courage to the wall and did it. I felt like King Kong afterwards. It was a rewarding experience and increased my confidence ten-fold.
(Note: No accidents, and the load remained in place!)
Sharing my written pieces on sites other than my own was a huge move out of my CZ; HUGE…I took that gargantuan step into the unknown and have found that there is an audience for what it is I write. It’s not a big audience; but that comes with word of mouth and exposure to the masses. This will occur over time.
Taking on the basic care of my grandmother who suffers from dementia; I really had no clue what I was in for. This experience has probably been the most rewarding; maddening; eye opening; heart breaking experience I have ever had. Recently she had a fall and was in the hospital for a week; released only on the condition that she not be left alone, especially at night.
Working as a Make-Up Artist was also a big move out of my CZ. I had spent most of my working life at a desk. Almost no one outside my department ever really saw me, certainly not the company’s clientele; I was just another voice on the phone. But as a Make-Up artist; there I was…Boots on the Ground interacting with people face to face. This was a very big deal…and I loved every minute of it.
(If there are those who wonder why I didn’t continue; I got bored applying the same stuff day in and day out – much to my own surprise – so I think I may have to invest in art/sculpting classes to improve my ability to sketch/mold the human face/body so I can perhaps go into designing make-up as opposed to the actual application. I also would love to get into Creature Creation and Animatronics and what have you; and I will. I am only 38 so I still have loads of time.)
There have been other instances but these have been the most recent.
It is scary to leave your CZ…I was scared too…petrified even…but I took that step scared as I was…and I have never looked back.
I have been blessed with some amazing friends and great mentors (Hello Boys!) to give me encouragement and support in my endeavors and my family is starting to come around as well.
So take a deep breath and that first scary step; be it a baby step or that gargantuan step; into the unknown outside your CZ. You’ll never be the same again.
Author’s Note: Yes I used Gargantuan more than once but I like the word and it’s the first time I felt I could use it to full effect!