When The Student Is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear
Last July I received an email from a friend. The subject line read: “How to crush your comfort zone.” I’d heard how doing comfort zone challenges could transform your life, so I opened it without hesitation.
My friend wrote about he had recently signed up to this course called Comfort Zone Crusher Challenges and described how he had walked through a busy shopping mall with his hands in the air and asked a stranger for a sip of their drink.
I was both excited and freaked out at the same time – I like the idea of doing something ‘out of the norm’ in public, but the very idea of it scared the crap out of me.
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
The only way to manage nervousness or being afraid is to feel the fear and do it anyway, so I signed up to the free 7 day course.
My first of many challenges was to lie down in a busy public space for 30 seconds.
I remember going out that very day to do the challenge and how nervous and afraid I felt – sweat was dripping from my forehand, my palms felt like a cake of soap, my heart was beating so fast I could see the arteries outside of my chest, and every muscle in my body felt like it was in rigormortis.
Translation – I thought I was going to die!
As I wandered around the shopping mall, I thought to myself ‘I can’t do this, people are going to think I’m weird…you’re a grown man, you’re going to look stupid.’
Having walked on what must have been every inch of tile twice I was harangued by two young girls selling educational courses.
I stayed and chatted to them to avoid having to do the challenge not because I wanted to sign up to any course.
Anyway, as we chatted away I got a brilliant idea – “I’ll sign up to a course, I said to them, if you guys lie down for 30 seconds with me.”
They giggled, looked at each other as if to say ‘is he fucking serious,’ then looked at me like I was an alien… and finally agreed, so I signed up ( I cancelled as soon as I got home). However, when it came time to follow through on their agreement, they bailed on me.
‘Oh, well, fuck it,’ I said to myself. ‘I’m going to do this anyway.’ As I pumped myself up to do the challenge I got them involved by being my time counter.
This made it a little less nerve-wracking because I was no longer doing it solo and they knew what I was going to do – I find talking about your fear, nervousness or anxiety eases the symptoms.
I believe this happens because you’re present with how you feel, accepting of how you feel, and authentic with your emotions.
After hesitating for a few minutes I took a deep breath and…I did it.
It felt fucking awesome!
No-one gave a shit and one guy even said “you look very comfortable down there,” as he walked by.
I remember being on an adrenaline high for the rest of that day, but the day after I had feelings of doom and gloom…
Find out why in Part 2