The Challenge of Embracing Discomfort: The Foxy Lady

You are now in a realm of not just sight and sound, but also of mind, a realm in which the difficult seems impossible and the opportunity to grow appears less attractive than the conservation of energy through sitting on your ass all day. You have just entered… The Comfort Zone.

(Cue spooky theme.)

Comfort Zones. Don’t you just hate them? You’re cruising along, thinking you’re good, you’ve done great things, you’ve achieved more than you thought you could hours, days, months, years ago, everything’s smooth sailing from now on.

Then, bam. Either you set your sights on a new goal or the weather turns nasty on you before you can even react, and for all your achievements, your first instinct is to hunker down. Batten down the hatches. The cabin’s nice and warm. Why go up on deck and do anything about the sails? Everything will be okay, right?

All of a sudden, there’s this new line – or maybe an old one you’d forgotten about – and sometimes it doesn’t matter how many lies you’ve stepped over before, how you’ve grown and changed; crossing this line is going to be uncomfortable in a new way – or that same old way that you avoided having to do before.

I’d love to tell you I’ve got it licked. Heck, I’m halfway through an eight week boot camp. After four weeks of muscle-stretching, stamina-sapping sessions of lactic acid and laboured breathing, you think I’d be pretty much busted out of the Comfort Zone concept, right? If I can still keep turning up for more punishment six days a week, every other source of stress should be a doddle, right?

Sadly, no. I’m still struggling with comfort zones, particularly the zones of “interpersonal relationships,” “standing up for myself” and “achieving personal projects.” And the desire to stay right behind the dividing line of comfort in each of these zones is stopping me making progress on a project I’ve had for over a year now: The Foxy Lady.

If yo;’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that my Dad drove a 150CC motor scooter from Sydney to Cairns last October to give me a cheaper, more fun alternative to driving the car to and from work every day. You may also know that there have been a few things between me and actually getting my motorcycle rider’s licence; some technical, some revolving around learning how to rise a scooter.

As of a moth ago, though, those issues were fixed, yet there are still some obstacles I need to oercome before I become a scooter commuter, and each one of them involves me getting in contact with others and asking them to work me into their schedules:

Practicing the specifics that the licence test requires.

U-turns and hill-starts I specifically need to make sure I have down pat. This means getting someone to buddy me while I learn, and my normal riding partner Celia is overseas right now.

Replacing the Foxy Lady’s rear indicator cover.

It looks as though the part installed after the original owner put the Lady on her side isn’t actually the correct one for the Lady’s model; it doesn’t fit in the mounting properly. I need to source a replacement, which means giving the folks in Sydney who provided the new indicator switch a ring to see if they can get one of those too. Calling people is one of those areas when i tend to get stuck.

Organising a testing time and someone to buddy me in for the test.

Here’s the real challenge. As the TMR offices are only open on weekdays, I need to take a day off work – and then i need a qualified rider who’s had his or her licence for over a year to also take a day off to ride in with me (and possibly back). So not only do I need to call a few people about buddying me, it means talking with my manager at work about more leave, right on the lead-up to December, THEN calling TMR and finding a time in the schedule of the local office. (Do I even have that in the right order?)

See the common thread? In each instance, I need to speak with someone about either doing something for me, helping me out or just claiming an entitlement (like annual leave). And it’s easier to put that off, stay within the “Look I’m not really worth the effort.” comfort zone than just stand up for myself and ask politely but firmly. It’s an Uncomfortable Thing, probably because it involves me growing.

But I need to grow. I want Vickie to have the car on weekdays so that she can get out of the house (not to mention on weekends without needing to be chaufeurred). I’ve started thinking about being kind to myself, but achieving thsi goal is a kindness to more than just me.

This post, then, is my way of starting The Foxy lady Project again with some accountability. It’s my hope that next week I’ll be able to write a post about some serious, concrete progress toward becoming a Scooter Commuter. I hope you’ll be back with me!

But what about you?

What comfort zones do you find yourself sitting in instead of doing things?

What specific thing that you want to do right now looks that much too far outside your comfort zone?