The Unexpected: Loss of control
Out of all of my characteristics, one of my worst attributes is my rigidity.
I like things to go according to plan, and if they don't I like to be in control of how they adapt. The worst part...if both of those are not present I lose my mind.
Honestly, this is probably why I'm so competitive with myself. I always want to be in the best position to affect the outcome, which is strange since I wouldn't consider myself a control freak. However, the entrepreneur in me likes the macro-control but hates the tedium of micro-managing events.
The unexpected thing about leaving the country for a year is that everything will be out of my control. Nothing will go as planned. My comfort zone will become as fluid as the tide, and trying to create a safe space where I'm in control will be like punching water.
What's funny is the last time I challenged myself this deeply, it unlocked a talent I didn't know I had and a career I had never considered. This is what makes this next adventure scary and exhilarating at the exact same time. I don't know who I'll be when we come back.
This is what happens when you push past your limits. I have been competing with myself for almost three years now, always striving to be better than the day before. You would not believe what the effects of this mindset are when compounded over a year. Two years. Three years. I effectively more than tripled my income and work for a company I love, in a role that allows me to connect with my passions on a daily basis. It all came from jumping repeatedly aiming for the spots outside of my comfort zone.
When that becomes comfortable I pick up something else. The downside, you never have enough time to continuously pick up new habits and hobbies otherwise you'll never sleep. That's where contentment comes into play. When you encounter the unexpected, understand that you will fail...a lot. But, that doesn't mean you need to waver or cower away. Embrace the failure and keep pushing.
The best things are right outside of your comfort zone, and the best learning experiences are right after failure. Combine the two and you're unstoppable.
When is the last time you voluntarily placed yourself in a place of discomfort? How did it go?