The Well Earned Comfort Zone

I hear a lot about getting out of your comfort zone these days, most often that “Nothing exciting happens there.” Maybe. It is true that I would never have completed my first romance novel if I hadn’t pushed out of the comfort zone to write a steamy sex scene or two. Was it comfortable submitting my work time after time, only to get a rejection? Not. But Mint Condition would have languished in my desk drawer if I hadn’t put it out there. I’m mostly an introvert.

Was it comfortable to walk up to strangers at car shows, introduce myself and pitch my book? No. I’d rather have my toenails removed one at a time. But I met some of the most wonderful people by doing just that.

Love chatting with readers in person.

Love chatting with readers in person.

What I learned through this experience is that pushing yourself beyond your perceived limits takes you to a whole new level of comfort.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband decided to take us on a bike tour. Comfort zone. I love to ride bikes in beautiful places. We live near the bike trail along the beautiful Central Coast of California—cool breezes, endless view, great Mai Tai’s at the end.

He chose Death Valley.

Wait a minute…Death…Valley? I didn’t think that was quite in my comfort zone. It’s hot there, isn’t it?

99 degrees and climbing, heading from Hell's Gate to Furnace Creek--out of the frying pan into the fire.

99 degrees and climbing, heading from Hell’s Gate to Furnace Creek–out of the frying pan into the fire.

Hot and…uncomfortable.  And a little bit scary.  Like pitching my book to an agent at a conference?  No.  Way scarier.  Getting out of your comfort zone has a way of putting things into perspective. But more importantly, for me at least, getting out of the CZ raises the bar.

Yes, I rode across that valley to get to this chair.  A well earned, and new level of comfort.

Dante's peak, Death Valley National Park, California.

Dante’s peak, Death Valley National Park. Waiting for sunset…and stars.

3 thoughts on “The Well Earned Comfort Zone

  1. OH MY GOSH, YOUR FUNNY. I WOULD NEVER HAVE ASSESSED YOU AS BEING INTROVERTED. WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES, GIVING OTHERS INSIGHT INTO THEIR PSYCHES IT’S REALLY A DICHOTOMOY. THE WAY A PERSON SEES THEMSELVES, VERSUS THE WAY OTHERS SEE THEM. YOUR TREK INTO DEATH VALLEY WAS, JUDGING BY THE PHOTO, FUN. THAT VIEW WAS TO DIE FOR. WHEN I SKIIED IN THE ROCKIES AT HEIGHTS OF 14,000 FT. LOOKING OUT OVER THE DISTANCE IT WAS BREATH TAKING, AND SO PHYSICALLY EXHILARATING. I LOVE, LOVE THAT PART OF LIFE. JUST YOU AND YOUR SURROUNDINGS.

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