I was driving down the road this morning, and while waiting at a stop light, I looked into the car ahead of me. Surprise, surprise, there were two cats inside going for a lovely car ride with their owner. One was sitting on the driver’s lap, looking outside sort of scared, the other was in the middle of the car, cool as a cucumber checking out the scenery outside.
Clearly these cats were put out of their comfort zone – and they seemed to be having fun! How many times have you come across a situation that challenges your comfort level? There are so many times that our comfort levels are tested. Whether it is something that you’ve never eaten before, or being around someone that is so different than what you’re accustomed to, you are challenged to find courage within yourself.
When Remy Martin first moved to my barn, she was so petrified of the world. Even seeing a coat hanging on the fence was perceived as something that would eat her. Horses are prey animals, and they are on the constant lookout to make sure that no lions, tigers or bears are out to get them.
I would spend hours just walking Remy around by hand, slowly introducing her to the world around her. Even though she was 16 years old when I bought her, she wasn’t given the opportunity to think for herself. When I tried to work with her, you could tell that her mind was 1,000 miles away. There was no connection between her and the world around her.
I’d show her things like trash in a wheelbarrow – boy was she scared of that. But with much patience, encouraging words, and cookies..she’d step out of her comfort zone, snort and sniff at it, but then became comfortable with the idea of the wheel barrow. When I started to try to ride her outside, it was all I could do just to get her to walk around the barn. You could almost feel the physical line of where her comfort zone was. Each day when we would go out, I would challenge that comfort zone line and encourage her to go just a little bit further.
Many people told me that I was crazy to ride this horse that was so scared of the world. She’d rear up, wheel around and try to haul butt back to the barn. But with the good graces of God, I always managed to get back safely. I was determined to get her past her comfort zone and to expand it. It took me three long and frustrating years, but I didn’t give up! Now Remy has the world as her oyster. She has found that it is fun to go out and explore new things. True, there are times that things scare the pants out of her, but she’s willing to overcome her fear.
Think about those things that challenge your comfort zone. Isn’t it time to bust things up a bit and try to do things outside of that comfort zone? Can you just imagine what your life will be like if you shake things up, break the status quo, and get out there and do it?
So what are you waiting for?? Go for it and Get Out of Your Comfort Zone.