Writing a song isn't easy. Performing it in front of a crowd is even harder, especially without assistance from friends like Jack Daniels and Jose Cuervo (#ThirstyThursday), but this week, I challenged club members to do both. The result was, hooves down, one of the best meetings we’ve ever had.
Voices cracked. Hands shook. Sweat broke out. Wah-wahs descended. Stomach’s fluttered, even among the ones who fancy themselves musically-inclined. Yet, everyone rose to the challenge and delivered a spectacular performance.
As President of MU Creative Club, I’m responsible for pushing members past their comfort zone so they can grow and find deeper fulfillment in their creative work. Some hate me now. I’ve been rutted in their minds as an evil leader set on wiping out their world.
Truth be told, I do want to wipe out their world. Mmwwaahh!
I want to kick down the fences that trap them in their pen so they can roam and feast in other pastures. The grass there isn’t greener, it just tastes different.
Fear keeps us chained to our pen, even when the gate’s been left open, because we are too afraid of the unfamiliar. We’ll make firm statements like, “That grass over there looks different. I won't like it,” or “why would I walk over to that pasture when the view right here is just fine?”.
If you want to grow, you have to let some slack out in your safety net and expand your comfort zone. The only way to do that is to try things that challenge you. Don’t cheat yourself, at least not metaphorically and creatively, by playing it safe. I’m not suggesting you do something like eat Tide pods. That’s dumb and physically dangerous. Don’t rush out and dodge trains or do Crack because you’ve always been too afraid to but now Mort said it was okay.
I’m talking about positive challenges. Snag the mic at an open poetry reading. Join in at the company karaoke night. Try something on the menu you've never ordered. Watch a movie in another language or listen to music from another country. Apply for a promotion you’re not qualified for or a new job in a different field. Hell, take a new route to work one day.
Push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Do this, and you’ll find that your pasture will be humongous yet as cozy and quaint as a cottage you've lived your whole life in.