You can take it with you. Your comfort zone, that is. You know, that cozy place that all these books and seminars and gurus keep telling you to leave. Leaving is scary, so sometimes even if you claim to be seeking “discomfort” (oof), maybe you really aren’t. But see, a zone is like a territory, or like a country. And the thing about leaving your comfort zone is that you’re not a tourist, visiting these risky new places for a little while and then retreating back home. No, you’re an imperialist, putting forth a considerable effort to extend your borders over an area that wasn’t always yours. There’s a reason that board game is called Risk. But once that happens, your zone is bigger, and you are comfortable doing more things. You can survive job interviews. Extreme sports. Awkward social situations. What I find people forget to tell you about leaving your comfort zone is that you’re not supposed to return to it, wipe your sweaty brow and say “phew, well that was ultimately healthy, I’m sure. Now to never do it again.” The idea is to make the uncharted realm the newest part of your zone and say “I don’t necessarily have to come back here again, but at least I know I probably can if I want to.” Always making an effort to test yourself is important, but don’t forget to take stock of where you are, and how your recently contested comforts are developing. fearlessstories.com
This was the first question posed at the 3-day program called FeMBA (a mini-MBA for women entrepreneurs) I attended with Seth Godin at the beginning of last month. I was stumped. He was asking it in the context of my business, but I cannot address that question one-dimensionally. Like most working women I know, my whole life is intertwined in who I am and what I do. I want a career. I want to have an impact. I want to accomplish something significant. I want to be independent. I want to love and be loved. I want to be there for my children when they are sick/need cupcakes/want to be read to. I want to be a role model for my daughter. I want to be my son’s best friend. I want to work hard with amazing people. I want to go on vacation with my husband. I want to make lots of money. I want to do yoga. I want to connect amazing people. I want a lot. So to ask me that question…to ask how I might create a business that can enable all my dreams and desires is difficult and scary – I am having a hard time wrapping my head around a job that will enable all of it. But I am not one to avoid the scary path. The real question for me is what do I want to do first? And then next? And then have faith that the how will follow. And I do.
So first up: I want to connect all of you to each other. You with me?
Thank you, Seth, for the gift of you, your questions, your ideas, and for connecting me with my new posse of FeMBA Phenoms.
FYI – for highlights of the FeMBA program, go here.
The last week was filled with some working out, and some good intention, but mostly it was filled with lots of good wine and good company. As mentioned in my last post, I was out with friends from college in Boston for a long weekend, which ended in lots of late night shenanigans, then I was home for a couple days, then out to the Bay Area for work and to see friends again.
So I was a little good in between the badness…I worked out both days I was home. And I braved seeing my dear Ken-doll trainer, Ryan (seriously…could play Ken in the movie, if there was one). And I worked HARD! I took care of myself by eating my (good) carbs before working out and I made it through with no shakes and no drama. I packed my bags with the intention of fitting in a least a walk along the bay or maybe a yoga class with a friend.
But my dear friend Wine was invited to the party each of the nights I was there. And I couldn’t turn her down. She’s so lovely and smooth and she slips in so easily you almost don’t notice her. But the next day you remember she was there. She left an impression.
I only had one real opportunity to work out, but that idea went out as fast as it blew in. So here I am, a week later from my last session with Ryan, with no progress or activity to report.
Am I bad? Or did I just take a week off? I’m going with the latter because I’ve already scheduled in all my workouts for the coming week and I know I’m going to hit them. But it’s very hard to shake off the guilt, and I feel like a bit of a fraud. Stick with me folks – I swear I’m in it for the long run.
Today’s lesson: carbs are good. Huh. All my Atkins brainwashing circa 2000 has me twisting this lesson from my trainer, Ryan, around and around in my head. Oh, and eating before working out is good, too. Maybe not RIGHT before, but sometime before.
You see, your body needs food in order to fuel it, so that it can burn the fat. It’s the short-term flame starter it needs in order to access all the stuff that you are trying to get rid of.
The reason why he told me this? Well, because I was sitting on the floor with my head between my knees praying to not toss my cookies and/or pass out. You see, I did NOT eat carbs, or for that matter, anything before my uber-intense baptism-by-fire first training session today. Ryan believes that strength training can and should be a cardio workout. And he set out to prove it to me.
So after one “trail” set (three machines – two upper and one lower body – what he calls a “Mega-set”) and three “for real” sets, I found myself on the floor, quitting for the day, worried that I might not make it home.
And the only reason is because I didn’t take the time to eat something. As typical of me, I scheduled something up to the minute before, and forgot to eat. I ate a small breakfast, but it was 5 hours before, and wasn’t quite providing the nutrition needed for Ryan’s Mega Set.
So the challenge is 1) do NOT let this discourage me – I am on a mission to do well by myself and my fitness goals, and this setback cannot stop me 2) tweak the plan (again) and make sure I am planning my meals along with the weekly workout schedule.
I am finding that my biggest obstacle, the thing that will most limit me and lead me to failure, is lack of preparation and planning. This includes setting aside the time for working out (and eating) as well as preparing my bags so they are ready and/or my kids stuff so they do not make me late, as well as informing my husband, nanny, etc. ahead of time of what I need in order to workout. Whew. It’s a lot. The issue right now is that I have no routine. I strongly desire one, but feel very uncomfortable committing – I mean, what if a client can ONLY meet during the time I “blocked” out for yoga? I am so hesitant to put that time aside for me, just in case someone might need me…
…and then of course, the workout doesn’t happen, because it wasn’t planned for. Or at a minimum I am late/undernourished/rushed/passing out/only have 20 minutes etc.
Carbs are Good. I must eat. I must take care of me first. I WILL set a schedule and I will make my appointments around it. Yes. See you next week Ryan.
I am not a very political person, but I do believe that people have the right to make their own choices and have their own opinion. Others don’t feel that way. They feel their way is the right way and that’s that. So sometimes, when we do take a stand, we have to bear unkind and often harsh criticism. It takes courage to have an opinion, and to be true to yourself regarding that opinion.
I recently watched The Suicide Tourist on PBS, which chronicles a high school classmate of mine’s father’s (Craig Ewert’s) journey to obtain an assisted suicide after being diagnosed with ALS. I tuned in because I personally knew the family and had been alerted about it on Facebook.
I recently had the privilege of speaking at a Ladies Who Launch event with Jen Groover, serial entrepreneur and author of What If, and Why Not?. She talked about fear, and how she uses it as an indicator of importance – meaning if she’s scared of it, she MUST do it. I completely agree with her – I have always found that when thinking about something makes my stomach start to do flip-flops, it’s because it’s THAT important to me.
However, there’s a different kind of fear that can creep up and debilitate you without ever raising its flag to indicate to you the level of importance of something. This fear is so tricky that you wouldn’t even call it fear. You call it “rules” or “conservative estimates” or “wise criticism”. This fear is fueled by what other people think, or more accurately what you THINK other people will think.