How do I ensure I’m living outside my comfort zone?

This picture was taken in January 2012. Just after I’d jumped out of a plane. Did I always ensure that I was living outside of my comfort zone? NO!!!

As a child I grew up in an Indian household and as the eldest daughter had no choice but to conform. At 20 my parent’s separated and I rebelled big time when my mum chose to go back home to my dad.

I ran away from home and that was the first major step of stepping outside my comfort zone. My dad was built like a brick shit house and NO ONE had stood up to him EVER.

Since then I’ve strived to push myself outside my comfort zone over and over again. One of the ways I do so is by remembering all the children I’ve cared for when I worked as a nurse, be that in hospitals or palliative care.

I signed up to do a jump out of a plane [ a perfectly functioning one ], got my partner in crime to do it too.

The Sick Children’s Trust in London ran a home so families could stay near their children. Their children who were sick and perhaps in intensive care at Whitechapel Hospital, across the road. The home is free to parents and families, but it costs a lot of money to run. They knew I was adventurous and asked me to raise some money for them. So I volunteered to jump out of a plane.

I was scared shitless and the tension kept mounting, especially as they kept cancelling the jump due to weather.

Finally, in New Zealand we booked to jump. I was lying in bed thinking,

‘WHAT WAS I THINKING?’

Then I thought of the children, the children I had cared for. Those in their wheelchairs, those waiting to be wiped and cleaned up when they woke, those experiencing paralysing and debilitating conditions, and those unable to perform all the daily bodily functions we take for granted.

I also remembered the ones I had had to help bury. I thought of them all and I was ready to jump. I could do it for all of them. That’s been the driver for most of my achievements.

Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is easy when you realise how lucky you are that you have a choice.

Jump I did and we raised some well needed funds for the home. It’s been one of the biggest achievements and proudest moments of my life.

Over the years I’ve grown to love the uncomfortable zone. My whole company is about helping people get outside their comfort zone in many ways.

How do I ensure that I’m living outside my comfort zone? Ironically, my uncomfort zone is doing main stream, conforming, doing things like they have to be done. It’s just not me. Even following the so called rules of social media is uncomfortable. In that zone I feel bored and stifled, yet I know I’m learning. Creativity is curbed and I feel suffocated. So I make myself a list of uncomfortable zone tasks and execute on them.

Then I mix it up with the crazy fun stuff I love that’s also outside of the comfort zone. And guess what Will Smith is right. The best things in life are on the other side of fear.

Guess who’s off to paraglide off a mountain this weekend?