How to Surprise Yourself

The other night our church did an “improv night” to raise money for our young adult ministry. Since I am the “new pastor” I was asked to be one of four people who would participate in a series of improv games and sketches.

It was definitely outside of my comfort zone. I’ve seen improv done plenty of times before, enjoyed it, laughed heartily, and even went away from the evening satisfied. But I had never done it.

How does one think so quickly on one’s feet? As I prepared for the evening and looked over the list of games and sketches we were going to do I knew I was either going to think quickly on my feet or I was going to bomb. I don’t mind being in front of people if I can plan ahead what I’m going to say or learn lines from a script. But making up things as I go? That’s a whole different ball game.

So the evening began and the games began to unfold. We started with a game in which I did fairly well. I even ended up “winning” it. After that I became increasingly more comfortable.

I surprised myself. I didn’t succeed at every game. I didn’t think I was always very funny. But there were some things I did that made people laugh, and that was enough for me. We finished the show to lots of laughs and a great deal of applause.

Here’s the lesson: Do something today that makes you uncomfortable. 

  • You just might surprise yourself
  • You will definitely stretch yourself
  • You will grow in ways you might not expect
  • You may find skills or talents that you never knew you had
  • You might even find a new hobby that’ll bring a certain sense of joy, purpose, or relaxation into your life

What uncomfortable thing will you do today to surprise yourself?

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