"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
Imagine squatting over the edge of a plane at 18,000 feet, peering down at the earth below you. You can hardly catch your breath as you jump off into the stratosphere.
I actually did that a few months ago. I went skydiving for my 30th birthday, it was something I always wanted to do but never had the guts to do it.
I was initially in it for the adrenaline rush, but when I got back down to earth I realized a few life-changing things.
Today I want to share the three life lessons I learned by skydiving from 18,000 feet and how you can apply them to your life.
How often do you go out of your comfort zone?
Going to a party where you don't know that many people or trying a new food may be scary, but when you actually get into it....it becomes fun!
That funny looking piece of raw fish may become delectable (or disgusting) but the experience is memorable. That party where you don't know anyone may be intimidating, until you hit it off with someone!
It's the things we dread doing that actually transform us and allow us to grow as individuals. Every time you step outside of your comfort zone you have an opportunity to find a passion, meet someone new or learn something about yourself.
Do at least one thing per week that makes you a bit uncomfortable.
Perhaps it's approaching a stranger or finally signing up for that pottery class you've always wanted to try. Try something that makes you just a tad bit uncomfortable.
When skydiving was just something I'd do "one day," I always thought about what could go wrong. What if the parachute doesn't launch? What if the plane crashes?
I was operating from a place of fear. I was afraid of being that high up and of being attached to someone who had my life in their hands.
Although those were all reasonable concerns, I had blinders on.
I was so focused on all the things that could go wrong, that I wasn't able to see what could go right!
You may be tempted to jump into a conversation with a group of people but tell yourself all the things that could go wrong like that the group won't like you or that your joke isn't funny.
But the next time you begin ruminating about all the things that could go wrong, stop and think of just one thing that could go right.
That group conversation could turn into meeting a new friend or having a laugh or two!
When you realize you're operating from a place of fear, ask yourself "what's the best thing that could happen?"
Doing this will trigger you to stop that negative train of thought and look at an experience with a whole new set of eyes. Begin visualizing that the best things are happening. Imagine that group of people laughing at your joke or welcoming you to the group. Taking a few moments to visualize positive things will put you at ease.
Being 18,000 feet high and looking down made everything down below look tiny, except for one thing...the ocean. The Pacific Ocean was in my line of sight the entire way down. What did I learn?
We are small. This realization gave me a totally different perspective on life.
Everyday life tends to have minor inconveniences that can get to us. It could be that pedestrian crossing the street while you're running late for work or the lunch line being too long. But when you're obsessing over the small stuff, take a moment to think about how small that is relative to the world and what's going on around us. This will help you get into a state of gratitude.
The next time you find yourself annoyed, take a moment and remember that we as humans are small.
There are bigger problems out there. Take a moment to show gratitude to the problem you're having instead.
Wish for that slow pedestrian to have a great day instead of calling them a slow poke. Making this a habit will shift your mind away from negativity and into a positive mental state.
You don't have to jump out of a plane to put these life lessons into action. By stepping outside of your comfort zone, staying positive and realizing that you are small, you can make the most out of life.
Are you ready to step outside of your comfort zone?
If you struggle with social skills or confidence head to my site and get your free mini-course: How to Crush your Inner Critic & Have Charismatic Conversations.