“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”Dr Suess
It is time for a challenge! I am going to be doing a sponsored skydive for a charity I co-founded, Voices for Life. Unfortunately, it has now been postponed four times due to low cloud which is extremely frustrating but it will happen!
Why am I doing this? Voices for Life is a charity I am hugely passionate about and its programmes take children on missions into space to enable them to aim high and believe in themselves. It seemed only right that I should do the same and take on a mission that really challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone.
As I recently imagined what it is going to be like flying through the air, I started to think about the importance of recognising when our comfort zones hold us back from achieving what we want to achieve. We remain sat in our comfortable armchairs which protect us and keep us safe, stopping us from making risky decisions and saving us from any potential embarrassment of telling people that something you tried did not work.
We know our armchairs will gradually grow old and worn if we sit there comfortably for too long. It then becomes harder to find a comfortable position and we start to become restless desperately trying to find the comfort we once had. The springs weaken and the support gives way as it becomes increasingly difficult to lift ourselves out of the chair and search for a new one that provides what we need. The only problem is, sitting there comfortably for too long can stop you from finding a career you love. A career that makes you happy, giving you the opportunity to raise your confidence, create new memories and experiences you love. At this point, we know it is time for action but how do we do something about it?
Stepping out of your comfort zone, requires a change of mindset and courage. Finding enough confidence to enable you to take a step away from your old and comfortable chair and gradually move towards different opportunities, perhaps some you didn’t even know existed. It does not have to be jumping out of a plane but it may be something you catch sight of on the ground that you can start steering your parachute towards. As you start taking little steps, you start discovering life beyond your comfortable armchair to help realize your aspirations.
As I wait in suspense to experience freefalling through the air for 30 seconds, I wait to discover something new, something I have been told will be one of the most exhilarating things I will ever do. I will have to give up some control to do it and take a risk but it will be worth it, especially having raised so much sponsorship for the charity from amazingly generous supporters. I am sure it will open my eyes to new things about me and about the world as I look down at earth and create new memories that will steer me on my way.
As I coach many adults to step out of their comfort zones to help them steer towards a career that suits them in line with their passions and skills, I know these individuals will say that it has been worth getting out of their armchair and landing somewhere a bit different. It is all about aiming for your hopes, dreams and aspirations.