Last week, I wrote about growth midset and how important it is to be tolerant of the discomfort involved in moving from the place that signifies our current knowledge and skills to the place that we will occupy when we have learned what we set out to learn and gone where we set out to go. Working on the principle that, in order to be prepared for the surge of adrenalin and whatever other stress hormones come with learning something new, I make opportunities to work the edge of my comfort zone regularly. I think of it as a kinder version of the “do one thing every day that scares you” mantra that was floating around a few years ago. Incremental change is the aim of the game to slowly widen the category of activities I feel confident and comfortable doing.
This is all well and good, and it has preserved my sanity while allowing me to grow and learn new things I probably could not have done straight off the bat. But, sometimes it gets a bit boring. Sometimes, what I really want is to take a flying leap into the unknown. Last year, I took a few flying leaps, and each one fed my appetite for the next. I rode the super slide my kids were too scared to go on at the school fete. I took a tremulous but ultimately exhilarating walk across a suspension bridge that wobbled and swung many feet in the air above Mossman Gorge and led to the magical smells and touch experiences of the World Heritage listed Daintree Forest. I leapt into the freezing cold waters of Mossman River. I climbed over the edge of a basket to take a hot air balloon ride above the Atherton Tablelands from Mareeba, which was surprisingly hot and loud when the jets were burning on ascent, then incredibly still and chill as we drifted while the sun came up. I flew on my own to Canberra to visit the city’s famous Floriade flower festival with two people I barely knew.
And then, in order to take things to new heights in 2020, I literally flew.
Goodbye comfort zone.