3 Reasons to Avoid The Status Quo Reason 2: Greatness isn't in your comfort zone

I am back today with the second reason to avoid the status quo. If you didn't get reason #1 you will find it here. 


So, I talked a little last week about why I personally try to avoid the status quo and how confusing it can be to want to BELONG and want to BE A REBEL at the same time. 

One part that I left out of the story is how I came to know that you can't do much of anything if you are unwilling to take risks


You see, when I was young I desperately wanted attention. I was a pretty outgoing child and outgoing children can get a lot of attention.  What I learned was that when you are under the age of three and you do something that makes people smile or laugh you are told you are "naturally gifted." As you get older, people expect a little more; it's no longer enough that you are trying to dance, they want to see how well you actually dance. 


As I grew I began to realize that I may not be as "naturally gifted" as everyone initially thought, ...ahhh, the stinging slap of realism.


If I wanted to get the attention I had so hoped for, I realized, I would have to "try out" for roles and positions where I would be appreciated. "Trying out," meant that I might not be picked and these were my first experiences of rejection and failure. 


Looking back I can appreciate that I had some very useful beliefs for a kid that age. One useful belief I had that let me experience multiple failures before giving up was that I was meant to be a performer. This let me believe that not "getting the part" was just a set back on a longer journey. 


Things get a little different though when you're a teenager. Am I right?


At about 15, "trying out" meant singing, as badly as I believed I sang, in front of a room full of more than 40 other kids my age or older to get into the level 2 choir. TERRIFYING!!!!    

"TERRIFYING," we use this word far too loosely; I was very very scared, but what I wanted was to dazzle an audience.


I could have said forget it and stayed home and watched another 200 episodes of "Three's Company"  but that desire, to have that effect on people, was just a little bit stronger than my fear. 

I walked out in front of those kids, and the choir teacher, sweating, shaking, my voice trembling so hard I sounded like a laser beam in a 1960's sci-fi movie, and I sang "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar." In case you don't know, this song is about Mary Magdelene not knowing how to take care of Jesus during his trials. The emotional content added an entirely more awkward layer of teenage humiliation to the whole thing. Afterwards, Derek, a 17year old boy who looked like a 27 year old man, approached me, hugged me and told me it was a "beautiful song for a beautiful girl" (this was a bit creepy though his motivation may have been pity and nothing more).


I didn't get the part. 


And for a while, I gave up. I licked my wounds and did the technical parts of stage production. But eventually that desire to perform came creeping back, and slowly I found my way onstage. 


"Nothing great, noble, profound, or ecstatic has ever been achieved by someone primarily concerned with staying safely within their comfort zone." -Barbara Carellas

This is the truth, and when I first read the sentence it must've been what Newton felt when he explained gravity. Barbara Carellas showed me there was an explanation and a science for something I had observed and taken for granted my whole life. 


PEOPLE ARE MEANT TO GROW. If you are not growing, you are in your comfort zone-your personal STATUS QUO. When you grow, you achieve your desires AND you achieve profound greatness, nobility  and ecstasy and, at first, it's uncomfortable.


Do you feel the truth in this statement as much as I do? Let me know below. 

Have YOU ever gone out on a limb, taken a risk and been burned? Did you try again? What aren't you doing because it would be uncomfortable?