Well, I want to thank everyone reading my blog as it makes me feel good to hear that it has inspired you in some way. Several of you have noted that it's been over a year since yesterday's blog and it's amazing to me that you're keeping track. I'm really happy to know if it's made a positive influence in your life. Now that I know it really makes a difference, I will share more of Kim's thoughts in public rather then keeping them to myself :-)
Now on to the topic of comfort zones. We all have them. Did you know that 90-95% of what we do on a daily basis is automatic and unconscious? We do things without thinking, out of habit, both internally with our thought patterns as well as externally with our actions. It serves to make us efficient in life to some extent but we really need to stop sometimes and assess if it really does serve us or if it's actually hindering us.
Yesterday I went to Pep Boys to buy a new light bulb for my car headlight. It had gone out and I wanted to see if I could fix it myself. Well, I didn't initially seek out to replace it myself but this past weekend when I mentioned it to my husband, he alluded to the fact that I could probably figure it out instead of taking it to the mechanic. What a total interruption of my thought pattern. Fix it myself? Was he kidding? I'm not a mechanic. I had no idea how to even get to my headlight. Didn't you need special tools for that? But then he inspired me. He said he had gone to Pep Boys to change the bulb for his headlight once and it was doable. He broke the bulb the first time and had to buy another but with some instruction from someone there, he changed it himself. Silently I thought, if he could do it I could do it. Furthermore he reminded me that I was good at fixing things. When the track ball on his blackberry stopped working, I was the one who took apart his phone, pulled out the fuzzies stuck inside, and put back together the intricate pieces so that it worked even better than before.
With that encouragement, I searched for instructions online on how to change the bulb and found it. I brought it with me to Pep Boys along with my wrenches, screwdrivers, and gloves per the instructions. After purchasing my bulb it started to rain. Was it safe, I wondered, to change it in the rain? I didn't want to break it the first time as my husband did and didn't want to risk trying it at home. Not wanting to waste time, I pulled into their service center. I knew they were going to charge $25 to do it but I wanted to opportunity to learn for myself so I was hoping to be able to pay as they supervised me. I told the guy my story and how the rain thwarted my efforts. He offered to change it for free. I thanked him for the offer but expressed how I wanted to learn how to do it myself. He told me to pull in the garage and he graciously guided me through the whole process, talking me through it as I changed my own bulb. It only took me maybe 5-10 minutes but I know it would have taken much longer without his help. There was an adapter that was not on the internet instructions I printed out that would have thrown me for a loop. Additionally, he held the flashlight for me while I was doing the work and I wouldn't have been able to do that since both my hands were being used to unlatch things. When it was all said and done, he said all I needed to do was to go to their website and apply for a job there. Funny! Anyway, I was really happy that I was able to learn from it in more ways than one and that a really nice person helped me out. I am so grateful for that experience. So what did I learn?
Besides the obvious, I learned:
1. Encouragement from others goes a long way.
2. Knowing that someone I know was capable of doing something gives me the courage to attempt something myself. Maybe I'm more competitive than I thought I was but when I see someone doing something I want to be doing I think, If they can do it, I can do it.
3. Resources suddenly appear the moment you commit yourself to something.
And 4th, things are never really as difficult as they first seem. This exercise has challenged me to think about other things in my life that I have assumed would be too difficult for me to figure out. What I realized is that anything is doable. Anything is possible if you're willing to step outside your comfort zone and give it a shot. Everything is a process. And when you're committed to figuring out that process, resources and people will show up to support you.
In what way will you challenge your comfort zone today?