When was the last time you left your comfort zone?
If you are bored with life or envious of others, it’s been too long.
If you haven't been bold lately, it's been too long.
If your fear has grown bigger than your faith, it’s been too long.
If you shy away from feeling embarrassed, self-conscious or uncertain it’s been too long.
Are you ready to be bold and bloom?
My life is very comfortable. There is nobody pushing me to do more, make more or grow. Except myself!
I’ve never been happy with the status quo. I’ve never been able to settle for less for very long.
When I do, I’m miserable.
The biggest risk I’ve taken in the last six years was to move from Michigan to Arizona. The economy was taking a downturn and I knew intuitively if Hubs and I were ever going to follow our dream and live in a sunny climate, we had better go soon.
It was a major decision. I was a therapist in private practice and I knew that my license wouldn’t be valid in Arizona. It meant I’d have to find something else to do.
It meant my husband would have to sell his accounting practice and work for someone half his age.
It meant we’d also need to sell our home and our cottage in Northern Michigan. It meant we’d leave our three grandchildren behind. For grandparents in love, that’s a rare thing to do!
But we were tired of grey skies and long winters. We witnessed our parents feel stuck as they aged due to being afraid of icy roads and sidewalks. We wanted no part of that!
We turned our lives upside down when we moved! I became a blogger and a courage coach. Hubs became a consultant and started another practice.
We now live in what we feel is paradise while Michigan has had one of the most brutal winters on record. We have made a lot of changes. We have no regrets!
Most of the risks I take today have to do with my business. I still fear reaching out to others, I do it anyway. I still fear that my offerings won’t sell; I create them anyway. I still fear that I’ll always struggle with technology; I learn it anyway.
I still fear failure. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.
I accomplish more because I’m willing to try new approaches to problems, allow myself to be seen and heard and step out onto center stage.
If I didn’t continue to push my limits I would be bored, stagnant and irritable. Instead I feel more competent, confident and energized as I discover new opportunity, grow my capability and rise to a new level of success.
I’m still afraid. Everybody is. I just don’t let fear stop me. You don’t have to either.
If you haven’t tried anything scary, uncomfortable or adventurous lately, it’s been too long.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What do I want?
Who do I want to become?
What impact do I want to make in the world?
Don’t allow setbacks or disappointments to steal your risk-taking ability. Don’t allow fear to rob you of your thirst for fun and adventure.
Try the following steps to discover your incredible potential and blow the lid off your comfort zone:
Dare to push through your difficulties. Don’t look for an easy way out. Create a plan. Ask for help. Look for options and take action. In even the worst circumstances, remember this too shall pass.
Track your progress. Write down everyday what went right and what you got right. Learn to give yourself credit for even small steps taken in a positive direction.
Challenge assumptions. Push boundaries. Shift your perspective. Stretch beyond previous boundaries. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that it can’t be done.
Get out of your routines. If you usually watch TV, read a book instead. If you drive to work, try public transportation once in a while. If you’re into yoga, try a spin class. Take new routes to the same places.
Speak up. Engage in conversations, networking and social events. Be willing to move forward. Go where you can make the impact you want to see.
Think of fear this way: Face Everything And Rise! Write down everything you fear. Next to each one, write down a solution to get through it. For example, talk back to it, breathe through it and take action.
Try something new. Wonder. Be curious. Learn a new sport or language. Train for a triathlon. Climb a mountain. Hike a difficult trail. Make a podcast. Attend Toastmasters.
Embrace life. Learn to go with the flow, through the ups and the downs. Don’t be afraid of struggle. Lean into challenges and discomfort. Don’t settle for less.
Allow yourself to succeed. Take a chance on your brilliance. Reap big rewards. Find joy in life’s lessons. Expand your courage zone. It’s all good.
Visualize the end result. Create a mental vision of your desired outcome. Add feelings and emotions to the picture. Write down affirmations to support your new vision. Have faith in yourself. Hold your vision. Ask others to do the same. Never let it go.
Recognize that you’ll always be growing. Each time you reach a new level of success, you’ll eventually have to leave another comfort zone. Allow it to be exhilarating. Turn your fear into excitement!
Everything won’t always go smoothly. You may have a lot of misses before you have a hit. But when you’re willing to be vulnerable, make mistakes and travel to uncharted territory, you’ll be able to do more than you ever have before.