Stepping Away from Your Comfort Zone

Leaving one’s comfort zone can be, well, uncomfortable.  Humans have a basic necessity of feeling competent at what they do in order to be content (Junger, Tribe).  Stemming from this need is a fear that taking on something new and different will lead to feeling incompetent.

This is The Resistance (Pressfield, The War of Art), and the more that you fight and overcome The Resistance, the easier it becomes.

The goal should be to step away from your comfort zone enough that the concept morphs into an oxymoron.

Do you know of a place outside my comfort zone?  There are plenty of such places, but as an insatiable experimenter and neophile, I continually pursue the eradication of these places.

I’m not convinced that I have found all of my potential passions in life. This is why I believe one should fight the resistance as much as one can, and get outside your comfort zone.

It was fighting this resistance that led me to learn Norwegian, begin Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and to plan a trip with Erin to Norway which includes a 10 mile hike to one of the most beautiful places on earth.  At the time of this post, we should be on our way from Stavenger back to Bergen for another three nights. I hope to share some pictures and details of our trip next week.

Drama is Resistance

Erin and I about to enjoy solar eclipse totality in Highland. We are shooting this picture blind, as many of you know.

The Email

One of the forms of The Resistance, as defined by Steven Pressfield in his amazing book, The War of Art, is drama. Our species is so addicted to it that we can become a prisoner of our own self inflicted version of it.

Let me give you an example. 
A student emails me about what I’m going to do about class for the solar eclipse, which is on the first day of class, a Monday. 
The class to which he is referring is a Tuesday, Thursday class.  I slap my forehead.  Literally. 
Now, prior Jason would have been so beyond disturbed about the stupidity of this. Prior Jason would have written an email that would be littered with hidden sarcasm. He would have spent perhaps 30 minutes to an hour trying to wrap his mind around how someone could bring themselves to make such an error. 
Eventually, any email that was created would be edited down to this: 
Dear Student,
Our class meets on Tuesday and Thursday, so you don’t have to worry. 
-Dr. Shaw
That’s it.  That’s the email.
Yet I would spend more than a half hour of my time stewing about it. I would be angry about the fact that I couldn’t, as a professional, send the more snarky email.  Even getting back to work, I may have to take a break and visit a colleague’s office just to tell them the story about it (now wasting TWO people’s time). 
However, I am not prior Jason. This time around, I literally did slap my forehead. However, I followed that up by closing my eyes, taking a few deep breaths while thinking to myself how much time I could waste with this individual if I let The Resistance take its course.  I pulled the solar glasses over my eyes, so to speak, and shut all of that other stuff out.

After a few deep breaths, the above email is produced and I move on, because I’ve got stuff to do (don’t we all).