" Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do." - Marianne Williamson
If you follow me on social media you may have seen the image above on your feeds.
The photo above is of my feet, while lying down on the platform at Oxford Circus tube station...
I don't make a habit of lying down on busy tube platforms, but that's the point: to break habits, social norms and get uncomfortable, to get comfortable.
I talk a lot about fear, with clients, in workshops and talks... so when I saw Till Gross' Ted Talk about his #ComfortZoneCrusher challenge, it sparked my imagination and appealed to the adventurous, daring, playful, child in me.
I've always been up for a challenge and push myself to take on things outside my comfort zone; and as I encourage others to do the same, I like to lead by example...
It's when out of our comfort zone that we learn and grow the most, when faced with fear and discomfort, we must adapt to our new situation, surroundings and feelings.
When there is no where to hide and no one to support us, we have no choice but to call on our own strength, resilience and character. We get to know who we truly are, in our naked, human truth. Masks off and security blanket in the wash.
So, I signed up for the #ComfortZoneCrusher challenge....
The first challenge was to lie down in the street for 30 seconds. I left the emailed challenge invitation in my 'to do' folder, peeking at it every now and then, my ego quickly jumping in with lots of excuses as to why today wasn't the day:
- It's raining!
- People will think you're crazy.
- You can't do it in the town you live! You might see people you know!
- You have too much to do.
- Don't be ridiculous...
Then I realised that those excuses apply to anything we want to do. There will always be reasons not to do them. Our ego's will always jump in and try to keep us 'safe'... to keep us small.
But as Marianne Williamson put so well...
" Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do."
So encouraged by my change in perception and a conversation with a friend and fellow coach; Elloa Atkinson - founder of The Fearless Expression Challenge, I decided to go for it.
Elloa and I did the challenge on the same day and were joined by some brave friends and clients, all in different locations.
I had no idea what time or where I was going to do my lie down but it was raining heavily the day I decided to do it, so had another excuse to back out...
Then on the way to a meeting in central London and had a sudden urge to lie down in the middle of my packed tube carriage. My heart began racing just at the thought and I was so close, but chickened out.
While waiting for my next tube, I had another impulse to just do it... so before the left side of my brain intervened, I found myself crouching to lie down in the middle of the platform, at a very busy, Oxford Circus tube station.
I DID IT! I have no idea how and it no feels like a dream but it wasn't actually as scary as I thought.... and that is the point. To do something extremely out of our comfort zone in order to calm our autonomic nervous system (the fight or flight response) and learn that the thing we're fearful of is not so bad.
So, if you see someone lying down on a street near you (maybe check they're OK first), give them a smile and wave... or join in?!
Thanks so much to our friends and family who joined in on #FearlessFriday.
If you would like to get comfortable out of your comfort zone, click on the button below and book your free business breakthrough session.
Check out Till's Ted Talk below for more infomation about the #ComfortZoneCrusher challenge