“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” -Neale Donald Walsch
Who hasn’t heard that quote?
Who has heard it so many times that you just write it off as more personal development mumbo jumbo?
Well, don’t worry: that’s the last time I’ll quote it… today.
The fact is that it holds a lot of truth. Extraordinary lives aren’t created out of half-assed-ness or going ’til you get tired…
If you want to achieve something grand in an unconventional way, you’re going to have to get uncomfortable.
I know I say this kind of thing a lot, and sometimes, I have to admit, I don’t abide by it.
So it’s Friday, and today I stepped outside of my sweats-and-t-shirt zone and into my back-bearing-deep-cleavage-J-Lo-style zone…
I committed to doing every single thing on my list that I feared doing but I knew would push the campaign to the next level.
Amongst other things, I took the step I feared most.
You see, I have an excellent opportunity at my disposal. All I had to do was get up the guts to go do it.
Though I felt like a 13-year-old asking the popular girl to the winter ball, I did it. Shaky voice and all.
I asked Allyson Felix, the Olympic gold medalist, to help with my campaign.
Seriously, I haven’t had a crush like this since I met my fiancé. No hard feelings, baby. ;)
I have admired her ever since the Olympics. She’s such a pillar of beauty and kindness, always smiling. She frequents a spot I work out in often and though I’ve seen her multiple times now, I just never got the courage to talk to her… or make eye contact for longer than a second before running away…
So today, I was determined to put up or shut up. I was just finishing my workout, and semi-relieved that she hadn’t shown up, when she walked in to the room and sat down to do some foam rolling.
My heart started beating faster.
“Practice what you preach!” I repeated to myself as I finished up my core exercises (I’m sure my form was terrible on those last ones).
I walked over to the stretching area, sat and started stretching myself… I knew I was prolonging it, and there was a point at which I thought I was just going to bail…
And then I didn’t.
I chose in that moment to act.
I didn’t wait until I was ready.
I didn’t look for a sign, or ask permission.
I walked over, introduced myself, and asked her about her charity projects. She’s doing some crazy awesome things with Right To Play, by the way.
Soon, I was talking to her about The 30×30 Project and giving her my card.
And beyond expectation, I found myself asking her how many Ls were in her name…
AS I PUT HER EMAIL INTO MY PHONE.
I am continuously amazed at the kindness that comes if you just get up the courage to ask. Amazing things happen when you take the chance to risk rejection or failure.
Even when everything in my body urged me to turn and run, I chose to act, and was rewarded with extraordinary kindness.
Though she wasn’t able to help me due to other conflicts, I put myself out there. I tried. And I feel so much better knowing, than I would have forever wondering.
What does this mean for you?
Whether you’re trying to get healthy, trying to switch careers, trying to be more creative, or trying by any other means to attain something you have not yet, this applies to you.
If you want something you’ve never had, you’re going to have to do something you’ve never done.
We all wish that we could achieve our goals without really challenging ourselves. We see other people accomplishing humongous feats, and they make it look easy (because we’re not there to see all the hours of long work they put into it).
The cold, hard truth of the matter is, to achieve anything you do not have at this moment, you will have to strive.
You’re going to have to reach further than you’re comfortable with, work harder than you’d like to, and get those super-nervous butterfly feelings that will make you want to run and hide.
The only difference between those who reach their objectives and those who don’t is the deliberate choice to push. [click to tweet]
If you’re unhealthy, but want to be fit:
- You’ll have to decline the processed crap in favor of foods that are closer to the source.
- You’ll have to push your body to change, which means getting a little sweaty and sore.
- You’ll have to learn to like healthy veggies and start preparing for criticism from those who aren’t comfortable with it.
- You’ll have to say no to peer pressure, just like they teach us in school.
If you’re not where you want to be career-wise:
- You’ll have to do more work than others who are happy where they are.
- You’ll have to say no to happy hours or stay in on weekends to get done what needs to get done.
- You’ll have to meet new people who can help you, and not be afraid to present your idea.
- You’ll have to have the courage to stand up to those who think you’re crazy giving up what you have now.
If you want to be more creative:
- You’ll have to give up the fear of being wrong, or at least, act in the face of it.
- You’ll have to make mistakes and learn from them in order to find what works for you.
- You’ll have to learn more than you know now, whether that be in the traditional form of classes, research or simply by doing.
If you’re struggling to overcome the darkness:
- You’ll have to challenge your belief that this is all there is.
- You’ll have to work to rewire all those default negative thoughts.
- You’ll have to take action when the last thing you want to do is move.
- You’ll have to reach out in spite of all the fear telling you not to. You have to get help.
Extraordinary lives aren’t bestowed upon the lucky; they are earned by those who create new definitions of the word every day.
Since we’re talking about action…
The 30×30 Project is in the last 5 days of fundraising and, frankly, I need your help.
If half of the people who subscribe to this blog give $20, we’ll make goal.
If 50 people who read this post share it with their network and raise $200 each, we make goal. That’s 8 of your network of hundreds, giving $25 each to the movement.
But besides the super awesome perks and natural high you’ll get knowing you helped inspire hope in others, what do you get? What kind of instant, competitive reward could I offer you to sweeten the deal a little bit?
The 30×30 Project Referral Contest
The contest opens at 12:01 am today, February 3rd, and runs until 11:59 am on Friday, February 8th.
The top 3 people who raise the most in donations from their referrals get a To Write Love On Her Arms shirt, as well as a personalized workout (with video) shot by yours truly.
These shirts aren’t your typical charity-wear. Take a look at their awesome designs by clicking here.
Hope. Shirts. Sweat. Priceless.
How do you participate?
Log in to your IndieGoGo account at the top by clicking “Log In,” or sign up for one by clicking “Sign Up” (it’s easy: just connect it to your facebook account or enter your name, email and a password)
Using the share buttons right under the video on The 30×30 Project page, share with as many people as you can via twitter, facebook or google plus.
I am only able to track referrals through these share buttons, so please be sure to use those links in particular!
Email and embed works, too! Just make sure you’re signed in and copy and paste the unique URL that you see in the address bar at the top of The 30×30 Project page (it will look something like this: http://www.indiegogo.com/30x30project/x/2049241#_=_).
International? If you raise more than $500 through your network, extra shipping’s on me. :)
I’ve never been comfortable asking for help, but it makes me feel better knowing I can give you something back, while we work together to create widespread hope.
Hope is real. It starts with you.
Please do come back for a special post later this week! Allyson Felix wasn’t the only person I reached out to… ;)
I’ll end by giving you a hint: Every Time I Talk About Depression…
Stay strong, guys,