I selected the image above from the results of a Google search for "out of your comfort zone" (a phrase I don't love). The photo appears in a sale-pitch-type article on the Successful Culture International website. (If you're a CEO who wants help being a better leader, you might read the article and/or hire the firm.) Though I hope never to be the CEO of anything, I like the photo for three reasons.
- First, the quotation makes sense to me; I find it inspiring without being pushy.
- Second, I like the idea that one would have to forget failures, as goldfish famous for their short memories, in order to leap to new possibilities.
- Third, I wonder what story the jumper will tell after it reaches the now empty bowl. Will it be lonely and seek to return, or will its jump inspire other carping fish to stop whining and take the leap?
I'm a big fan of trying new things in safe ways and of being willing to fail sometimes in order to find success. Writing my blog has been fun, but I'm certainly uncertain about everything in it. I've had to make a big leap to put my words forward in this way. In January, I published my first poem here on the site. (If you're new to Why Wednesdays, you might click the link to read it. Then, please come back to today...or go back to the beginning and read all 171 previous posts.)
I have no confidence in my poetry. I'm not one of those English teachers who reads poems and instantly understands the deep, inner, secret, hidden meaning. I know better than to "tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it" (Billy Collins, "Introduction to Poetry"), but that doesn't mean I'm comfortable in poetry land.
So you may ask, "If you're not great at this whole poetry thing, why did you write a poem and show it to the billions of people who either already read or will one day read your website?" (Like my aspirational number?) I wrote it to be the goldfish taking the leap. You might look at that right hand bowl above and think it's filled with water, but I think it's filled with satisfaction, with freedom, with knowing I tried something I haven't done before.
We're not halfway through 2022. What leap do you want to make this year? What's in your new bowl? Want company there?