Being outside of your comfort zone is a scary place to be. We have all been there before, and seem to quickly develop little walls we build up around ourselves in order to commence a process of nesting into our new environments. Trying something new or different effectively opens up little windows in our walls, and while exciting, can also be quite daunting and be a trigger for anxiety, stress, the dreaded feeling of being out of control, uncomfortable or the overall fear of failure.
Being a Gen Y female, I have grown to be comfortable with my boundaries. They are the bricks and mortar of my walls, which hug and protect me from the unfamiliar that is all around me. My walls have a convenient cloak of invisibility, so I don’t even feel the burden of having such limitations placed upon myself. In fact I feel free and limitless – because of the comfort of my invisible walls. However the walls, invisible as they may be, can confine us within our comfort zones, to the point where venturing over to the windows of new and exciting opportunities can be difficult steps to take.
Some of the changes we experience in life force us to not only peer into, but climb through these windows in our walls. Moving house, marriage, divorce, having children, experiencing the death of a family member, starting a new job – are all huge wall breakers. They shake the very foundations of the comfortable cloak we’ve created throughout our lives, and we’re put in a position where we have no other option but to turn those windows into doorways, so we can comfortably access both sides of our old and new lives – and somehow recreate a harmony within ourselves as we start to feel safe again in this new place.
For example (and this may seem like a small example but relevant nonetheless) I have a problem with preparing food. I’ve never enjoyed cooking, and never known why – because I thoroughly enjoy eating! But cooking, to me, like the idea of getting married or having children (I’m far too young for these events to occur, yet) is something that is way outside of my comfort zone. And I have developed a finely tuned taste for fast food as a result. Blessings of fast metabolisms and good genes aside, my pallet never seemed lacking in anything – and as such, I never acquired a desire to try exotic foods, let alone an aspiration to create my own cuisine.
But then a few things happened to me, recently in my life that changed the concept of my walls all together. And instead of just appearing to be invisible for convenience, I realised that in reality, they really weren’t there at all. I started a new job a few weeks ago as the Media Coordinator here at Nett. In doing so, I opened my ‘Monday-Friday, 9-5’ world up to a small business filled with big personalities. At Nett Magazine, I found a fantastic company, a fantastic role, the perfect cohort of colleagues, and the perfect avenue for renovating my brick walls.
Three days into my first week at Nett, we had a “team building” social evening organised through Victor’s Food. Victor Pisapia owns and runs his company, a small business that provides the ultimate cooking and team building experience. The Victor’s Food website proudly explains:
“Using food as a medium and cooking as the metaphor for action, the primal power of cooking and eating together as a bonding activity helps teach your team essential aspects of time management, communication skills, conflict resolution, project management, and health & wellness.”
Who would have thought that cooking could be the key to creating and participating in a learning experience that both educates and indulges you? Nobody has ever successfully managed to make me enjoy my time in the kitchen, but Victor did! I even shelled 30 prawns (whilst managing to persuade my Managing Director to assist!), splashed them in tequila and set them on fire in the fry pan – a feat I thought I’d never achieve, as my distaste for preparing food has always got in the way! My new team mates, who demonstrated both competitiveness and cooperativeness, also contributed in helping to open the cooking window in my wall for me. As a result, we created an amazing looking and delicious tasting menu, and thoroughly enjoyed devouring every last plate!
I am nesting nicely into my new job (now three weeks in) and I am turning my cooking window into a door by organising a social night with my girlfriends, where we’ll all be signing up to another Victor’s Food cooking class very soon! A small business can have a very big impact in a person’s life. You just never know when a new and exciting opportunity will come along and change your world. I’ve just acquired a new hobby! What is it that YOU want to be starting? Let others help you open those windows – and soon, instead of standing in a room full of walls, you’ll be standing in a hall full of doors, with endless possibilities to delight and entice you outside of your comfort zone!
You are currently browsing the HS3 – He Said She Said Communications blog archives for May, 2010.