Monday, October 03, 2005


the comfort zone

last night i had the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone. my partner, a brilliant handyman and carpenter, took on a project building a wheelchair ramp for a neighbor of ours. the project seemed to get more complex at each turn and the weekend, which he had set aside to do the work, was running out. so i offered to help.

i'm not really sure what i was thinking i'd do when i offered to help, but when he asked if i'd rather screw in deck boards with the drill or cut boards with the circular saw i was a bit caught off guard. power tools, yikes. i took a few minutes to gather myself and decided a drill seemed much less scary than a saw - no real danger of losing a limb. he did a quick demonstration of how to space the boards, gave me a couple tips on using the drill and sent me to work.

i can't say that i ever really "got the hang of it", but i managed to successfully screw in one whole section of ramp. and at the end of the night when we pushed the wheelchair down that section i must admit i felt quite proud.

using a power tool to build a deck is a totally different kind of challenge than i am used to taking on -it definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone...and it was great. i got to experience firsthand what it is my partner spends a whole chunk of his life doing, and understood better why he loves it. it made me notice my ability to learn new things and to use my physical strength to accomplish something.

it also served to remind me that almost everything we think of as undoable is in reality simply a learned skill. my partner was not born with the innate ability to deftly maneuver a drill, he's just done it a few thousand more times than me.

pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones can be done in big or small ways, but it almost always pays off with new perspectives, increased confidence and often new skills.

when was the last time you ventured outside your comfort zone?

what might you try if you gave yourself the challenge to put comfort aside and learn something new?

i'd love to hear about your adventures outside your comfort zone, post 'em here.

dream big,

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