Hi, my name is Tim J., and I have a story to tell you about how I utilized skydiving to break out of my comfort zone. For me, I got really comfortable in my 20’s. I figured I could life-hack my way through life and, it worked. For about 10 years, I was just sailing along. I was content staying up late, going to rock and roll shows, hanging on my back porch with friends, and going on the occasional hitchhiking adventure. We never think that we will need to do anything different when we are young. And, I was comfortable, until…

…I got married. And then I had a kid. And then I had another kid!!!

I was in a pickle. I was forcibly removed from my comfort zone, and it sucked. I felt like I had nothing to contribute. I had no unique skill. I had no career. I had no money. And it all caught up to me, like a train crashing off the rails in a thundering explosion… I was fu*ked.

Luckily, the shock from that experience lit a fire under my ass, and I found a path to become a video content creator. Unfortunately, it was way more of a painful transition than it needed to be. It was traumatic and awful. And truthfully, it still affects me today…

As I’m typing this blog post, my hands and feet are cold, LITERALLY. If I don’t put my winter boots on soon. My feet will soon start to ache. And they’re cold for two reasons.

Tim J McLeod working late on his garage

1. The studio where I make my videos is an old neglected storage space – under the front stairs of a large community building – in Vancouver, Canada. It’s wintertime, and there is no good way to heat the studio;

2. I got comfortable in my 20’s, and now I’m paying the price by needing to catch up.

There is a price to pay for being in the comfort zone. It’s simple. You won’t achieve your goals, and you’ll have fewer options.

I’ve realized that if you want to succeed in life, you need to have skills. And building skills is uncomfortable because it takes us away from our cozy couch, our favorite tv shows, and our familiar social media scrolls.

“The solution: Intentionally build your skillset even if it’s uncomfortable”. -Tim J McLeod.

However, if you want to achieve something, if you have a goal in mind, the best way for you to succeed is to acquire skills, PERIOD. And you and I both know that developing skills come at a cost. Because you always have to sacrifice comfort to gain skills, and that’s a given. But before you can go out and sharpen your skills, you need to know what obstacles are in your way.

No one knows what your comfort zone is. You are the only person who can define it.

So STOP, take 5 minutes, and do this short journaling exercise. Ask yourself:

1. What do I do when I’m tired after work?

2. How did I spend my free time in the last 5 years?

3. What things make me the most comfortable?

4. What goals am I trying to accomplish?

5. What am I willing to do to achieve them?

After you’ve completed this journaling exercise, you’ll have a good idea about what your comfort zone is.

My success 

I’ve spent the last three years hustling to build my skill set, land a job, and catch up on finances, all while starting a new family. It’s been stressful, and I don’t recommend this path. The reason I’m sharing all these things is because the effort paid off, and I got a good job working for ikario.com. To celebrate it, I made my first video for ikario about skydiving and intentionally leaving the comfort zone.

Also, I didn’t stop once the video was posted. Afterward, I began to send emails around to blogs hoping to find someone to share the video with. This, in itself, was uncomfortable because I didn’t want people to think I was spamming them. Instead, I wanted them to think I was reaching out. Through that process, I found this awesome skydiving blog. Augusto Bartelle asked me to write an article to go with this skydiving/comfort zone video.

Keep coming back

Intentionally leaving the comfort zone is the best path that you can take. It’s so much easier than being forced out. And it gives you way more options than remaining comfortable your whole life. As it happens, skydiving makes the perfect metaphor for leaving your comfort zone, as the ground is where you’re comfortable and safe, and everything else is not. Discover your comfort zone and what you’ll need to do to leave it, be deliberate, and have a goal in mind.

Remember, you can do it. You just need to be intentional. Thanks for checking out this post and the video. I hope that it encourages you to go after the main thing that you’ve been putting off.

If you like the article, please let me know, send me an email or a message on Instagram. I want to know about your experience and thoughts!

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