My friend Beth, would not let me take a bathroom break, during our 4.5 hours of running during the Chicago Marathon. That is why it was completely out of character, when she actually stopped dead in her tracks, during a training run, turned to me…and said something I will never forget!
Beth and I would talk a lot during our training runs. We were in our mid twenties, were co workers, next door neighbors and running partners. We clearly had a lot to talk about. At this time, I was bursting with goals, desires, and big ideas. My three reoccurring desires were often the topic of my dialogue with Beth. During our long training runs I would talk about how I wanted to take hip hop dance lessons, I wanted to buy my dream car, a Jeep Wrangler and I wanted to go to grad school to get my Master’s Degree. And I would talk about these things, often! She too had aspirations but was already eagerly pursuing them.
So during a run one day, she literally stopped dead in her tracks, turned to me and shouted with a fair level of frustration, “When are you going to stop talking about doing these damn things and actually take the hip hop class, buy your Jeep Wrangler and look into graduate schools?!?!”
You see, it was just so much more comfortable and safe to talk about my lofty goals. And talk…and talk…and talk.
Of course, I was offended at first when Beth challenged me. She hurt my ego. She pushed me outside of my comfort zone. She called me out.
She was right.
It was easier for me to talk and talk about what I want to do. It was more difficult to act on those ideas. I was comfy. I did not have to go outside of my comfort zone. Even though I knew these ideas would help me in one way or another, I was clearly afraid of taking action.
Thanks to my friend Beth and her abrupt stop during our run, that next week I went to try out a dance class. While the class was not exactly what I was looking for…(at a later date, I will detail the absolute fool I made of myself at that class…) I was exhilarated that I could say I went to that class. That I actually followed through on one of my top three goals.
Months later, I bought my Jeep Wrangler. And three years later…graduated with my M.A. in Communications.
No I am not bragging. I did not write this to say, “Hey look at me and how great I am.” I am writing this for you. What have you been thinking about, or want more than anything? To get back in shape? Open that business? Pursue that outlandish, totally irresponsible and out of character hobby? Get back to church? Start scheduling “mommy time”? A monthly girl’s night out? Work on improving communication with your significant other? Take up yoga? Volunteer? Go back to school? Quit your job?
What have you talked and talked about…and have neglected to take action? This week, identify that ‘thing’ that has kept you in your comfort zone.
Then, ask yourself…will you still be talking about it, a year from now? Will your friends ask you to just shut up and take action? What is one step you can take, towards that goal?