Embracing my Inner Jedi: Stepping Outside of my Comfort Zone

Earlier I was listening to the TED Talk Radio Hour on NPR podcast about being in your comfort zone. It was all about and how people often get in the habit of staying at their status quo, have issues with moving past their norm, and getting out of their comfort zone. This podcast struck a chord with me, in many ways.

I have written before about wanting to make new friendships but finding it hard to actually make friends. I have always blamed it on my introverted nature, my social awkwardness, my dislike of small talk. One of the interviewers on the podcast was talking about this same subject and the speaker described how most people are creatures of habit and rarely stray out of their routine. The example she gave was how at work most people always use the same elevator, the same bathroom, the same bathroom stall, each day. I know she was describing me, to a T.

I decided to push past my discomfort and sent a text message to the mother of one of my daughter’s daycare friends, asking if she would like to make a playdate. She accepted. I know making the playdate was the easy part. Now I have to go to the playdate, make conversation, not seem too shy or quiet or weird. That’s the hard part.

Lately I have been feeling down because I have been gaining weight. Seriously, my fat pants (you know the ones I keep way in the back of my closet?), are too tight. I haven’t weighed this much since I was pregnant. A year ago. My wardrobe lately has consisted of long tunics and leggings- the same long tunics I bought as transitional work clothes to wear when I returned to work from my maternity leave and no longer fit in my maternity clothes but still didn’t feel comfortable in my prepregnancy clothes. Why have I gained weight? Why am I allowing my self to stay this way when it is making me so unhappy?

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I don’t make a bonafide effort to get out of my comfort zone. I have been self-medicating and eating my anxiety and frustration. I have been unwilling to take on the discomfort that may come with making a life and lifestyle change. I have been too lazy to put in the effort to stick to my resolution to eat healthy for more than a few hours or to convince myself that I must exercise. I lack the self control, will power, and consistency to make myself stay accountable. I have the tendency to tell myself that spending time with my husband or kids, taking care of housework, or sleeping is more important than making time for myself and working out.

Master Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” I have the sign on my wall. I see it every day. Why doesn’t it sink in?

Trying is my problem. I keep allowing myself to try rather than do. Geekiness aside, I need to break the fuck out of my comfort zone. I need to stop telling myself, “I need to lose weight” and “I need to make friends” and just do it. By trying, I have allowed myself to fail. I have made it acceptable to fail.

So, I guess the next step is figuring out what I need to do to change this. How do I move past the failing and begin achieving? How do I stay focused and accountable? How to I embrace my inner Jedi, find balance, self control, be disciplined, and get out of my comfort zone, for good? Sending a text message is easy, but how does one make a decision to change their life, live with purpose, and stick to it every day?

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