Last night, as I was getting ready to head out I started to look for excuses to just stay in. I was feeling sorry for myself. I had tried to recruit others to join me out dancing to no avail. The week had been a series of missed connections and frustrating cancellations. I had more will to lay on the sofa sulking than get my coat on and head out the door.
But I did it. I headed out the door and went all by myself to hear a friend spin at a club. And I had an amazing time. I danced to great music and discovered a fantastic local band. I met interesting people. I got to know a new friend a little better and enjoyed a fun conversation. I found out about more events I need to head out to in the near future. I collected some business cards. I learnt a trick with limes. I flirted. I laughed. I ended up at home at 5:00 am.
And I think of the opposite scenario: "What did you end up doing last night?" "Nothing. Fell asleep staring at my ceiling again." No thanks.
Why am I talking about this? Why should you care about my night out dancing? Well...because it relates to everything else. Without pushing ourselves to do something uncomfortable like going out alone, walking up to someone to introduce ourselves at a networking event, starting a new business, talking to that person who looks interesting or trying a new cultural experience, we don't open ourselves up to new opportunities. What is it that Wayne Gretzky said? "I miss 100% of the shots I never take." Sure staying at home would have been more comfortable for me, staying at the dead end job (and not taking a risk with a business idea) would be more stable and not talking to that person I find interesting would save me from potential rejection, but in all cases, I've created a scenario for failure 100% of the time. When i go out, I potentially meet people, get some exercise and learn something new. When I become an entrepreneur, I can potentially grow to places impossible for me to grow to as an employee of an organization. When I talk to a stranger, I could meet my future mate, business partner or best friend. I'll never know by staying at home and staying safe.
A while back I wrote about luck and success, in which one of the characteristics of lucky people is that they get out of their regular routines/situations and try new things. They leave their comfort zones. They strike up conversations with new people. Most lately, I've been settling in pretty hard and forgetting that. This is reminding me to get out more and explore and meet new people. I'm pretty sure my 'settling' and my feeling like I'm in a stand-still rut are related.
So, from now on, I'm promising myself to do at least one small act of getting out of my comfort zone a day (talk to an interesting stranger or the like) and one bigger act of getting out of my comfort zone a week (joining a book club, going dancing by myself, reading a book that isn't part of my usual interest, etc.) and get out of my rut.
Now...if you'll excuse me, I need to get ready to head out to do some swing dancing. :)