“Many a false step was made by standing still”
I am a military brat. To those unfamiliar with the term, I am the child of someone that was in the military. This was a unique childhood in the way that we constantly moved. Every 3 or 4 years. Growing up like that I didn’t really think anything of it. It was just how it was, every few years you made a completely new set of friends. It wasn’t particularly fun to hit the reset on my friendships, but that was the deal. Little did I know it was conditioning me to be able to make a meaningful connection wherever I went. I had to! It was a survival skill I acquired that has benefitted me in so many ways (thanks Mom and Dad!).
You see from continually changing our environment and taking ourselves out of the comfort zone and into what may sometimes feel like the danger zone, we grow as humans. Just like a muscle that needs to be worked out to be continually grown, the skill of connection must be worked out. I can’t say how many times I’ve had the lump in my throat when I was doing something that was a little scary.
To quote from my friend Brian Cunningham’s Blog “Trouble With Ego”
”The special bond between training partners begins with the breaking down of physical barriers. We get way into each others’ personal spaces and we swap sweat and blood. More importantly, we often get a front row seat to how our training partners react to being in bad situations. In doing so we learn some of their deepest secrets, likely without even consciously realizing it at the time.
This dissolution of physical barriers inevitably leads to emotional barriers coming down as well. I’ve had conversations with training partners after class in which I shared things I wouldn’t tell my closest friends because that shared state of physical and mental exhaustion demands shared honesty. I experienced the same phenomenon first-hand in the early stages of boot camp, when these types of conversations were standard for a group of people trying desperately to become a team in a very short period of time.”
Here Brian is speaking about the incredible bonds made on the mats of our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym Creighton MMA. Brian beautifully illustrates how getting out of your comfort zone and going through a unfamiliar/uncomfortable situation with someone else can in many cases expedite and strengthen an otherwise surface relationship.
In nature the comfort zone is great. It’s safe, and it’s crucial for survival. But growth comes from pushing those boundaries. What if the caveman never left the cave?
Push yourself. You’ll be better for it and if you fail miserably at least you’ll have some great stories to tell.
This week get out of that damn comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be big, like skydiving into a vat of sharks. But try something new with a group that isn’t completely made up of people that are in your inner circle. Summer is about to kick off and it’s a perfect time to get outside!
http://www.meetup.com/ is a fantastic site with groups meeting for just about every activity you can think of. Find one and join. Once you commit, don’t flake out. Have fun, meet some folks and tell me how it went. J