Get Out of That Comfort Zone
I am an introvert. It's a label I proudly claim and from my little corner of the world all is well. I love to read and hang out with my dog and, of course, take photos. I (like most introverts) have been told I need to get out of my comfort zone. Why?!? There's a reason it's called the comfort zone, right??? OK, fine. Last night I did just that. I got out and to a social event where I knew no one. Talk about extreme (for an introvert, anyway). It's not that I don't like people, I just find it difficult to do the whole "networking" thing.
The event went well. It turned out that most of it was a presentation so I didn't have to "work the room" - thank goodness. After it was done I spoke one on one with a few people which was totally doable and I went home happy that I had taken the chance to attend. Not convinced to catapult yourself out of that comfort zone? Here's another story about comfort zones and photography.
In March of 2014 I attended a workshop led by the awesome Piper Mackay. The location was a working ranch in California and the theme was centered around capturing horses and cowboys in beautiful light. Horses make me swoon. I think they're glorious creatures and although I never grew up around them and have barely ridden them I am fascinated by them.
The first afternoon of the workshop Piper started off by saying that she was going to get us out of our comfort zone. Oh no, I thought, what are we going to do? We were going to go into a large pen and attempt to get close to some very shy horses.
Oh, did I forget to mention that while I am fascinated by horses I am also terrified of them? Yeah, being in the same enclosure with a bunch of them scared the crap out of me. But there was no way I was going to tell anyone or, even worse, miss this chance. So in I went, along with all the other participants, trying desperately not to freak out and take some decent photos at the same time.
All of the photos in this post are from that afternoon. I consider it some of my best work so far and I'm quite proud of myself for having attempted something that for me was really difficult. It was totally worth being so completely out of my comfort zone. I think about this day often, when I have to do something I'm not comfortable with.
So the next time you're in a situation where stepping out of your comfort zone might yield good results, think about giving it a try. You just might end up creating something you're incredibly proud of. And if you don't? If nothing stellar happens? Well at least you tried rather than letting your fears get the best of you.
PS - I highly recommend this workshop. It's a lot of fun, you'll get great photos and the food is great.