Maybe it shouldn’t be called a comfort zone. Using the word zone implies there is a boundary out there somewhere. Maybe that still limits us from our massive, amazing potential. After all, we are creatures of comfort, loving the expected, the predictable, right? If you read The Competitor in Me II: Conquer Fear, you know I am allergic to surprises. Especially of the medical kind.
So if we like the predictable, the road less traveled can be a tough choice. Incredibly interesting and amazing, but a huge challenge. That place might even seem out of reach, for someone else, not you. When I first started participating in The Road Less Traveled on Twitter, also known as #TRLT, I felt that way. It’s a great weekly event hosted by Shane Dallas and Savannah Grace, tweeting with people all over the world about travel, in a Q-and-A format. Still, engaging with other world travelers like Savannah and Shane, I felt a little…well, regular. I hadn’t been to Sudan or Tajikistan. Savannah has been to so many countries, and she’s writing books about them! Really good books, like Sihpromatum and Backpacks & Bra Straps. My meager travels were abundant, but I didn’t think most of them were the road less traveled.
I could have easily said this Twitter program wasn’t for me. I could observe the conversation from afar, but I am not on #TRLT. We do the same with other things in life. We take ourselves out of play because we believe it’s beyond us.
“You have to be rich to start your own business.”
“I can’t lose weight and get in shape for that bike trip in Spain.”
“It’s too hard to go back to school with my full time job.”
Oh, do we love the expected! It’s so much easier. Safer.
I didn’t take myself out of #TRLT. I took a different perspective. I started looking for my own #TRLT. No, I didn’t start taking the long way to work, or the long way to picking up my youngest child. Reflecting first, I looked for the best opportunity: when I am outside. When out for a training ride or run, as I gear up for Ironman Wisconsin, I tried new roads. Simple enough, right? I’ve always tried new roads while riding, but never with such intent. It was a subtle mindset shift that yielded change.
My last long training ride, I took several #TRLTs! Spinning down these new roads, I felt a remarkable freedom and feeling of exploration.
This photo is a little fuzzy because things were pretty hot this day, and there was sweat all over the camera. This was the first time I road into Jefferson County, Wisconsin, so I had to stop and admire my #TRLT.
You can try it too. Maybe it’s walking, riding or running down a new road. Maybe it’s making a phone call about that degree you want to get. Maybe it’s stretching out to a few new LinkedIn connections. Schedule that networking meeting. The first step, like most things is the most difficult. Have that neighborhood family over for dinner, you know, the one you keep saying “we should get together.”
It’s one phone call. Do it! Then, enjoy your view on The Road Less Traveled.
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