6am, alarm ringing whilst a reluctant team member is getting up for their next challenge which will definitely take them out of their comfort zone for at least 8 hours!
This was the day that I had promised to wear a dress (with heels, makeup and tiara!) for the first time in 7 years. What? I hear you cry! Yes that’s right, people paid to see me wear a dress! Madness, unless you are what they may call a jeans, trainers and hoody lady!
In the two weeks leading up to this event I was swamped with offers of dresses, heels and assistance with hair and make-up! My colleagues/friends, as you can tell, were loving the constant opportunity to wind me up (or as they called it SUPPORT my fundraising!) I would also like to add at this point – most did not believe I would actually go through with the challenge!
6:20am, sitting patiently, I watched as my sister began creating hair and makeup fit for a princess! During which my comfort levels decreased dramatically. As I voiced my unease at the situation, the reply ‘it is for the good of disadvantaged families and children in India!’ came and I realised that this was the first time in this years fundraising/project where I felt out of my comfort zone.
Chennai Challenge is a charity which challenges you to explore life outside your comfort zone. This is a challenge all team members have to face whether it is the actual travelling or staying in India, the cultural aspects or in my case doing an event which is far from what I am comfortable with.
8am, As I got to work, people began to arrive and they observed the dramatic change I had made. Being out of my comfort zone at first made me fairly quiet, (which if I am honest is very strange!) it also made me fairly unhappy. As the day progressed however I managed to overcome the feelings and enjoy the challenge I had set myself. I will not lie though, I was still counting down the hours and minutes till I could get out of the dress and heels and be back in trousers and trainers!
To step out of your comfort zone leads to new and different behaviours. This meant I was no longer the optimistic, joking and happy teacher, friend and colleague people knew. I no longer felt secure in myself and in what I was wearing. It also led to new and different responses for example one year 6 child found it very hard to talk to me as he said I no longer looked like myself. This showed me that it was not just myself who was out of their comfort zone but also the children I teach and the people I work with. We all really enjoyed the challenge of the day and I managed to raise over £260 for the project.
When was the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone? How did it feel? What was the response? My challenge to you is, step outside of your comfort zone, do something different! When you do let me know how you felt and what the response was!