Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

A month ago, I gave myself the challenge of producing a post every Monday from August through to the Winter holiday season. It’ll be – and has been thus far – the most prolific production of writing I’ve undertaken since creating this blog.

So, why did I do this? Why give yourself an arbitrary challenge for no apparent reason? Am I that bored or have that much free sometime? Well, sometimes, you must step out of your comfort zone. Even in some ways. Because when you step out of your comfort zone, parts of you that may normally be dormant come to life.

Creativity. Ingenuity. Problem-solving.

“Accept. Adapt. Adopt.” – David Mas Masumoto, Wisdom of the Last Farmer

This is how I started in early childhood education. Stepping out from behind a computer – a position for which I was comfortable, rewarded, and praised – and sitting in front of a bunch of 3- and 4-year-old children. This was a big change into something I knew absolutely nothing about.

When you’re in the unknown, you are forced to create tools, routines, and procedures to survive. Change is necessary. Creativity is required. Or else you won’t make it. Stepping out into the unknown – in anything – requires you to change in some sort of way.

Necessity is the mother of invention: a need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or solve the problem. -dictionary.com

There is a subtle rush and thrill when you’re creating. Because, when your out of comfort zone, the rush is partly because you have to adjust and the other is sitting in awe at realizing, “Wow, I made that!”

So far, I’ve been successful posting every Monday. Yeh, in the who’ll scheme of, I don’t know, life, who really cares? However, I know I’m the most creative when I’m forced to do so. Otherwise, I’m slack, indifferent, sloppy, negligent, and lenient.

Giving myself this challenge – and, I know it’s really small compared to WordPress community – has forced me to do what I wanted to happen. I’ve had to create tools, routines, and procedures to make this happen. I’ve created a calendar where I’m planning my posts – and I’m planning them months in advance. I’ve never done this before. I’ve done so much planning and writing that I’ve been posting on Fridays. I’ve been creating so much content in my mind.

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Made a calendar. Literally. I graphically made this calendar from scratch.

The same thing happened when I started teaching preschool. I went to the library and got activity books and stories. I scoured the Internet for blogs and student stories. I spent my evenings surrounded by markers, construction paper, and tape making resources as I sat in front of the TV Sunday afternoons watching football.

I was creating because I had too, then I was creating because it was a rush. What wasn’t there before was now before my eyes.

A calendar.

A sock puppet.

A blog.

I know enough about myself that I’m my most creative when there is a level of pressure. Sometimes, that pressure is out of your control, but you’ll still create. Sometimes, that pressure needs to come from you, but you’ll still create. Sometimes, you need to tell the world that you’ll post every Monday, but you’ll still create.

Step out of your comfort zone and create.

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