Crack Your Comfort Zone: 9 Steps for a Bold Life

comfort zone

The one single thing that keeps us stuck in a rut or a bad habit is our refusal to take action. We tell ourselves that we’ll begin tomorrow or we convince ourselves that the problem really isn’t that bad.

We allow doubt, worry and fear to define and dominate our lives. We continue on the path to no-where-new and allow our precious dreams to fall by the way side.

I dug a deep hole for myself when I became pregnant at 17 and married my boyfriend. We were young and foolish, our only plan was “love.” Therefore, I gave birth to three more daughters by the age of 22. My last pregnancy was twins.

I knew that life was going to be difficult for us for a very long time. Hubs and I both knew that we had to decide to take responsibility for our situation.

We made up our minds, very young, that we would push forward no matter what.

Kristy, one of the twins, was born without a right hand. My biggest fear at the time wasn’t how we would make it financially, but how would Kristy make it?

How would she hold a bottle or a book? How would she button a sweater, pull up her pants or tie a shoe? In a culture where we worship physical beauty, how would she adapt?

Kristy faced many struggles, but she was smart, strong and also a fighter. She pushed back. Hard!

She held her bottle with one hand. After she sucked it down, she would toss it, grab her sister’s bottle and drink hers as well. She learned how to dress herself and ties her shoes. No problem! She learned how to adapt quickly to new things.

Her biggest struggles were in school where she was bullied, mocked and relentlessly teased. It was painful to watch, but her sisters helped protect her. Hubs and I reassured her.

She was determined to do everything her sisters did. She followed their lead and learned to play softball, soccer and basketball in elementary school. She would go on to play sports for two years at the University of Chicago.

One of Kristy’s biggest fears was that she wasn’t good enough and boys wouldn’t want to date her. She wasn’t asked out on a single date in high school.  I don’t think it was because of her physical challenge, however, but because she challenged her male classmates in sports and would beat them — their egos were bruised!

Today Kristy is 36. She was married two years ago. Pete is a great match for her. He is strong, has a lot of energy and participates in marathons with her. They’ve recently taken up stand up paddle boarding, always living life fully.

If you want to excel, do the impossible or realize your dreams, you have to be willing to take a leap of faith despite being terrified.

Too often, we hold back and play it safe in order to avoid looking silly, being hurt, becoming successful, feeling embarrassed and facing rejection or possible failure.

Like Linus in the comic strip ‘Peanuts’ clings to his security blanket, we cling to fear from our childhood, traumatic experiences and the negative media.

It’s our responsibility to acknowledge, face and dissolve our fear.

What is it that you yearn to do but haven’t yet begun? Are you willing to begin today, to dig for courage and take a leap of faith?

You don’t have to start big. A few small steps everyday would take you there. Don’t delay! Let’s get started.

The following tips will allow you to embrace your fear and take action.

1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Move toward the very thing you’re afraid of. Feel it, breathe through it and make your move anyway. Taking action builds confidence and courage. Remember, “This fear shall pass.” Your life expands as your courage expands.

2. Make your dominant thoughts positive.

Instead of expecting the worst, train your mind to expect greatness. Fearful thoughts attract more fear. Positive thoughts attract success. Make positive assumptions about your future. Believe the best is yet to come.

3. Ignore your fear. Deprive it of your time, attention and energy.

Be 100% responsible. Be consistent, be prepared, persevere and focus on a positive end result.

Take the initiative, be innovative and willing to do what it takes. This will move you into unexpected opportunities, synchronicity and magical events. It puts you in the flow.

4. Train yourself to “feel” prosperous and blessed.

Learn to think, speak and live as an abundant person. Celebrate what you have. Be generous. Turn off all negative media.

Be open to and expect good things to happen. Put your attention on being ready, willing and prepared for the connections, good fortune, beauty, wonder and favorable circumstances that are yours when you work hard.

5. Relive your victories.

Reflect on the last several years of your life and every success you’ve experienced. This exercise will strengthen your belief in yourself.

Relive and mentally celebrate each one again. Bring the same persistence, drive and talent into now and allow it to motivate and inspire you.

6. Read and remember the victories of others.

Use the success stories of others to fire yourself up. Study the success of Henry Ford, the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey. Read how the Brooklyn Bridge was built. Take note of the courage others developed and follow their path to success and greatness.

7. Allow your loved ones to encourage you.

My family will remind me of my strength when I forget I have it. I ask them to remind me of all the trials and triumphs we have come through. They’re generous with love, praise and encouraging words.  Ask your friends and family to do the same for you.

8. Create a support group of friends or colleagues.

Stick with the people who love, accept and believe in you. Robert Fulghum wrote in his book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten, “When you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”

Sticking together makes difficult times easier and easier times even better!

9. Plan to succeed.

Own your power and dream big. Be bold. Take calculated risks and deliberate action steps. Don’t doubt your success. Your dreams are at stake here! The life you’re designing doesn’t include anything less than magnificent.

You have the power, the genius and the magic to do what it takes to break through any obstacles that stand in the way of yourself, your dreams and your happiness. What are you waiting for?



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  • Cathy Taughinbaugh September 19, 2013, 10:44 pm

    What an amazing story about your daughter, Tess. What amazes me even more is that you were such a young mother, yet knew instinctively what she needed and what would make her strong. She was so lucky to have you both as parents. That is wonderful that she has found her soulmate. Thanks for the inspiration to be strong. It doesn’t help any of us to hide behind our security blankets. Living life to the fullest is what will leave us with no regrets. Thanks for the great post!

  • Suzy Quick September 21, 2013, 5:21 am

    Reading this really touched my heart. I have been blessed with four healthy children and it crushes me to see them fight back at the struggles of life I cannot protect them from. I can’t imagine if any of them had to overcome such an adversity as Kristy’s. Her story is a testimony to the strength of the human spirit, and so is yours. It’s only through these tests and challenges that we are able to discover our capabilities.

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