I was inspired to write a little bit about the benefits of getting out of your comfort zone. In order to get out of your COMFORT zone, you need to do something that makes you UNCOMFORTABLE. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Easier said than done, right? Yes and no.
As I mentioned in my last post, I recently have been obsessed with a singing app called Sing by Smule (I just call it Smule). I love singing. Actually I didn’t know how much I loved singing until I downloaded this app. How I knew that I love singing is that since I started singing a lot more with Smule, I have been so happy. My whole well-being has improved because of my excessive singing this week.
I would say there are two things I’ve done with this app that required making myself uncomfortable. The first is that when I tried to “collab” with another person, that is, when I tried to sing a duet with a complete stranger also using this app, I had the choice of either recording just my singing, OR I could recording a video of me singing.
I am an introvert, and rarely ever “put myself out there” when I’m out with people. I am never the “life of the party.” Definitely not. I prefer to blend in with everyone else to remain unnoticed. Needless to say, recording a video of myself singing and posting it for the whole world to see was an idea that gave me much discomfort.
But for some reason, I decided hey, why not? There was something deep down that seemed to know that I could be so much happier, I could enjoy life so much more, and feel so much more fulfilled, if only I did things outside my safe introverted comfort zone.
Long story short, I recorded a video of me singing “A Whole New World” with this random guy who is an amazing singer. After recording and posting the video, I just had this feeling of accomplishment, fulfillment, growth that I had not expected. And that made me happy.
This whole example may sound silly, but it’s my most recent experience so I felt to share about it. After that first video came the second, third, fourth videos singing with other singers, along with several other voice-only duet recordings. The more I recorded the easier and more comfortable it became and I will say again that this made me very happy.
It also helped occupy my time which is usually a very good thing for me, because if I’m not engaged in an activity I tend to drown myself in my thoughts and that can soon spiral downward into depression. Not good.
Anyway, now that I had gotten comfortable posting my singing via Smule, especially videos, I had basically pushed myself in a way that expanded the size of my comfort zone. I kind of think of it as a box in which “comfort” is contained. If the box gets bigger, more comfort can fit into it.
Today I opened up the app to do some recording, and I came across an old song that I used to enjoy, and I wanted to record it. Then I realized that who I am and the way I carry myself is pretty much the opposite of the style of this song. Not sure if that makes sense. I enjoyed the song, but I never thought about learning how to sing all of it myself.
That’s because not only did I have to sing, but I also would have to rap. I am a generally quiet and calm Asian girl with a soft voice. Then there’s this song that is rough, not quiet or calm, and has rapping with intense feeling. Uh… I couldn’t do that because that’s not me and so I can’t do that.
I seriously don’t know what happened but I just decided to do it anyway. And after many many takes, I finally completed a surprisingly satisfactory recording. And yes, that involved me rapping. Oh and the song is “Where is the Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas (old song I know).
Again, I did something that was VERY uncomfortable for me, but I found that “putting myself out there” made it possible for me to do things that perhaps I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do, or do well. When you find yourself accomplishing something that was at first uncomfortable to you, THAT’S where progress is made.
So, I am no rap artist but today I found out that I do have the ability to rap if I wanted to. Haha. It feels so weird writing all of this. But anyway, I had so much fun and it made me so happy!
As someone who has had a history of depression, finding something that can improve my quality of life this much, finding something that can make me so happy, is HUGE. Because the biggest problem I faced with depression was that I had no interest in anything, and overall in my life there was just a lack of feeling altogether. So to find a hobby or activity that can cheer me up without fail is wonderful. It’s comforting to know that I’m not a robot.
I digress… to sum it all up, DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE until it becomes comfortable (or less uncomfortable) for you. This is called getting out of your comfort zone, but I see it more as an expansion of your comfort zone so that you are comfortable with more things in your life.
And I will do another uncomfortable thing right now.. I will share the link to the recording of me singing and rapping. It feels really weird for me to share this kind of thing on a blog. Here is the recording. And this is so awkward but I know that putting myself out there like this will only help enlarge my comfort zone.
I am now embarrassed and will try to get some beauty sleep because the night is no longer young.