Last year around this time I realized I was starting to live my life too comfortably. What I mean by this statement is that I wasn’t taking any chances, I wasn’t putting myself in new situations and I definitely wasn’t jumping off any cliffs! After really thinking about this realization, I found myself wanting to change something in my daily routine.
I thought about starting a habit that I could do each day for a year and see how I would change. I read about people doing all kinds of different daily habits from writing a letter to someone for a year, to completing an act of kindness for a stranger every day. These were powerful stories and had amazing impacts on people, but they weren’t what I was looking for. I wanted something that was going to put me out of my comfort zone. I wanted something that was going to stretch my ability to get back into that tedious routine.
It wasn’t until a week after I had this initial thought that I read a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “You should do one thing every day that scares you.” Now obviously she didn’t mean watch scary movies or stand in a room full of spiders. She was talking about comfort zones. It was this exact quote that stuck with me, and it was then I realized I was going to spend a year of my life trying to do one thing every-single-day that scared me.
I was going to challenge myself to move away from that cozy place where stress and risk are minimized by a steady level of comfort. Now there is some science behind doing something every day that scares you; it will make you more productive and it will prepare you for new and unexpected changes. But by pushing those boundaries I personally have found it to harnesses opportunity and creativity.
I took Eleanor’s quote and I applied it to my life. Almost a year later, I received a daily journal from my mom to record each scary moment. I have found that whether it is speaking in front of an audience or simply jumping off a cliff, I am more willing to take on the challenge today than I was a year ago. I have experienced so many more opportunities in my life because I am not missing out due to the fear of being uncomfortable.