21 January 2013

Ways to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone (Part 2)



On Friday we looked at several real life examples of stepping out of your comfort zone and today we continue with even more ideas and inspiration that have led to  voluntary simplification of life. I hope they will inspire you to look closely and define the past steps out of your own comfort zone. Once you do that, you will feel more encouraged to go ahead and step out of your comfort zone, this time deliberately.


Be bold in exploring new pathways
Lisa admits that she relied on her comfort zone for many years even when it wasn't exactly comfortable, remaining with a well paying job because it seemed like the responsible thing to do. She was growing increasingly stressed and exhausted,trying to meet intensifying demands which pulled her away from loved ones and home.

Then she got a powerful push out of her comfort zone when her job position was moved across the country, and her family wouldn't consider moving. After more than 20 years in the corporate world, she made a bold move to strike out on her own, to finally listen to her heart and pursue her passion, to express the creative ideas that have been simmering inside of her for years.

A second push that placed her even farther away from her comfort zone when she was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. She admits that this experience has propelled her to become more courageous about exploring new pathways including mindful and simple ones.

Many of Lisa's interests and aspirations outside of her comfort zone were languishing in what she calls her "someday file," and some of those items are finally shifting from "someday" to "today!" After her layoff, she started fulfilling goal after goal in her "someday file".

As a cancer survivor "newbie," She has been learning how the healing art process can be a powerful, valuable form of therapy by participating in a monthly class at the local hospital where she receive treatment. She admits feeling way out of her comfort zone, walking into class the first time and baring part of her soul to people she was just meeting, but surprising as it was, she felt instantly comfortable and supported.

Kristin has devoted 2013 to refusing plastic. In order to achieve this she has started preparing her 11 year-old and 9 year-old children for the fact that they will no longer buy a lot of stuff like straws and party balloons. She has also stopped buying portion yogurt. Although she realizes the uncomfortable part of her decision, namely to deny her children stuff their friends have, she is determined to stand up for their future.


Try something new every day
Valerie admits that she is a big fan of trying something new everyday, and that is why she varies her schedule to allow a little time each day to do what she want.

Porsha has chosen to challenge herself playfully and she found out that on she is expanding what it is that she is comfortable leading to more opportunities for trying something new.

Cory has stretched her comfort zone by offering neck pillows as "made to order" in her online shop.  By doing this she will be able to offer her  customers more scent varieties and combinations. And yet she still has anxiety over whether or not her sewing machine and she will be having an argument when the pillow orders come in.

Push yourself
Valerie and Porsha both made the same step out of their comfort zones - they started going to the gym.

Valerie shares that when she started going to the gym she really did not want to go, she wasn't comfortable going and she did not want people to see her limitations. She pushed herself to go a few times a week until one day she realized she did not mind getting up to go, and when she got there everyone was very motivating. Today she realizes that stepping out of her comfort zone and going to the gym has been the best thing for her, and everyday she is thankful for being able to get up and do it again.



Embrace the challenge
Jennifer is happy to step out of her comfort zone. The first step is to think like a cat, curious and unsure if the candle will be nice or light up your tail and sizzle. Her main motivator is knowing that there is one life and she wants to share all that she is capable of in the experience of projects with other humans.

She admits that even though she is open to challenges, she sometimes needs perseverance, and decision-making.  The Little Train That Could, The Snowdrop, and The Maid Of The North are all fables which remind her that it is alright to go forward.

When the end results are less than expected or when Jennifer realizes she jumped in too quickly she reminds herself that even the embarrassing moments have a vulnerability which she is glad that she had shared with others.

In her own words:
"In the end, we are learning and others are learning too. As long as there is authentic love involved, the experience can not be sold at the market.  All experiences have wisdom looped throughout the bare bones."

Just do it
I love Brittany's relaxed attitude, which we all need from time to time. She says that although she doesn't know how exactly she goes out of her comfort zone, she just sticks to the "Just Do It" motto. While it is not always easy to do things and she knows it will always be better to do something than to NOT do something, just to try. And if it didn't work out then that's okay, too. Not everything does.

You can see that all items in the list are pretty simple and uncomplicated. But undoubtedly they are challenging. Accomplishing each of them took:
  • a strong wish,
  • the recognition of that wish,
  • the will to try,
  • taking the first step.

Yes, all you need to do is focus on the first step of each challenge in your life. Sometimes it is something you wanted to do but didn't have the courage to, other times it is something you were afraid to do.

Whichever it is, make a step ahead. And focus on the next step.

Simple as that.

And you're out of your comfort zone, in search of your higher self.