Jump Outside Your Comfort Zone

My “Bucket List” is full of daring, eventful, and inspiring activities or challenges.

Traveling to Japan (where I was born!!). 

Running a full marathon.

Meeting Nick Carter (seriously, I signed my middle school yearbook Ashley Carter because I was CONVINCED I would marry him).

Participating in a flash mob.

You know, the usual.

When I got an email a few weeks ago, asking if I wanted to participate in a flash mob at the Eloqua Experience ( my work conference this past week)…I was over the moon!

My reply: “Absolutely! Being in a flash mob is on my bucket list!”

Flash forward to Wednesday, November 7.

I had mixed emotions about being in the flash mob. I know..that doesn’t sound like…but I was NOT prepared. And I’m kind of a perfectionist.

They sent out a training video of the dance.  I told myself I MUST practice every night the week before the conference, but in reality – I practiced ZERO times.

I told my boss that I felt uneasy about the flash mob…and I seriously considered not even attending the practice session.

Why are you acting like this, Ashley? You’ve always dreamed of being in a flash mob!

“Well, I think I’ll just go to the practice,” I told my boss. “And if I really can’t do the dance, then I’ll just cheer on the sidelines!”

When I opened the door to the “top secret rehearsal,” the music was playing. A few people were dancing and then eventually everyone started doing the dance.

You’ve got to be kidding me! I am clearly the only person in the room who didn’t practice… I’m going to stand out like a sore thumb!! I am leaving…

I opened the door and walked out of the room.

What are you think, Ashley? Get your butt back in there. Jump outside your comfort zone…

Seconds later, I saw my new friend Lauren.

“Lauren!” I yelled. “Are you doing this!?”

“Yeah..but I have no clue what I am doing,” she said.

Thank.God.

I am not alone.

“Oh good!” I said, feeling relaxed. “I don’t know either…”

We walked back into the room (everyone was still dancing like flippin’ rockstars!!). I found a place near the back…and just started dancing along. And by dancing along, I mean looking extremely awkward and doing the Marsha Brady.

Dancing machine.

I had no clue what I was doing.

I probably looked like a fool.

And guess what?

I was laughing.

I was smiling.

I was happy with my decision to jump outside my comfort zone.

“Alright everyone!!!” the dance instructor yelled. “If you think you know this dance by heart and would get up on stage and do this dance alone, go to group one.”

Obviously, I didn’t move to group one.

“And if you think that you have a lot of work to do and feel like you want to hide in the corner, go to group five.”

Alright, that’s more like it!! Group five here I come!

Thankfully, group five was full of SUPER fun people. And we were all super uncoordinated, so our dance session made for even more laughs.

We had an absolute blast practicing the dance.

Turns out, group five was the last group to jump into the flash mob…but we were also the group that ended up on stage!!

“Wait, isn’t that a little backgrounds?” one guy asked. “You want US on stage!?? Group 5!?”

We all started dying laughing…

“If we smile and look like we’re having fun- that’s all that matters!” I said, thankful that my attitude and outlook had changed.

After practice ended, we went our separate ways until lunch started. I thought the flash mob was on Thursday during lunch, so I promised myself that I would practice all night.

Because, you know, that’s what perfectionist people do.

I told myself that I wouldn’t eat lunch before the flash mob…I would wait..because I didn’t want my nerves to get the best of me!

I felt pretty confident about my game plan.

Tomorrow will be amazing! 

Lunch (On Wednesday- Not Thursday)

I was sitting at lunch with my boss and new friends when I heard “The Right Stuff” come on!

OMG. Someone tell the DJ they have the wrong date! 

I leaned over to my friend, who THANKFULLY was in the flash mob group with me and said, “Shut up! Is the flash mob today!?”

She started laughing, “YES! When did you think it was?!”

“OMG!” I said. “Tomorrow!!”

My boss started dying laughing!

You’ve got to be kidding me.

I looked around for our dance leader and I couldn’t find him!

What if he doesn’t show up? 

Did he think it was tomorrow too? 

When do we go up on stage?

Just then, I saw him run up  and said, “Come on ladies! Let’s do this!”

I jumped out of my seat and went toward the stage.

Now or never.

The dance went surprisingly well!

And despite my anxiety about making a fool of myself or falling off the stage, I had a blast!

 I came back to my seat and my boss said, “Great job!!”

“Thanks!” I said back. “See, I can be spontaneous sometimes!!”

He laughed, “Only when you have to be! Let’s be real, we both know you would have practiced in the mirror all night long tonight if the flash mob really was tomorrow.”

“You’re right…” I admitted. “You know me too well. I want to do it again!”

Back row, far right (in a purple dress).
Did you find me yet!?! 🙂

Not everything in life goes by plan (a lesson I have yet to fully learn and accept). 

And sometimes, you’ll be forced to feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.

But guess what!?

Your nerves will go away. 

Your adrenaline will kick in.

And you’ll love every minute of it.

So whatever you’re holding back on in life…jump on it.

What do you have to lose? 

Much love,
Ashley

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