It was going so well!
And then it happened!

I have been challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone for at least 30 days.  Initially, it was going to be 7 days and I decided to continue because … "it is going so well", says me and my 'bada$$’ self, "let me keep going".

I know -- Why?

It wasn’t a dare. It wasn’t even something someone else suggested.
I did it for me.
I wanted to expand.
I wanted to continue my own growth and development.
I wanted to break up my routine.
The most obvious way to break up my routine is to do something different.
If I want different results I am going to have to step out of what is comfortable and do things differently.

"We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are"-- Max Depree

Every day I set an intention to do something outside my zone of comfort.
I could choose anything that is outside my normal routine and brings up some resistance, hesitation (read procrastination) or the F-word, FEAR.

A challenge, but "I can do this"...until I didn’t.

So I started taking action,
  • I signed up for an Improv class,
  • I started to brush my teeth and wash my face with my non-dominate hand
  • I scheduled myself to be interviewed for a podcast
  • participated in a meet and greet with more people than I am usually comfortable with
  • initiated conversations with strangers
  • complimented people I don’t know

saught opportunities to step out of my norm and address those pesky tasks that I have been putting off.

Going through this process I have found it to be enlightening. I have experienced many realizations and reminders.

Let me share some of them:

  1. The more you do something the less uncomfortable it is.
Yes, even taking cold showers!

This may seem obvious but we don’t remember this when we are about to take on something that is new and makes us uncomfortable.

The discomfort is too great.

It prevents us from taking those first steps.
Our inability to start doesn’t allow us to experience this so obvious truth.

  1. It’s not all about the BIG Leaps we take.
It is also about the new little things that we accomplish as well.
Things like making the phone call to increase my credit limit; complimenting someone I don’t know.

These allowed me to stretch just as much as scheduling and doing the podcast interview or attending the Improv class.

  1. People are more reasonable and amiable than I anticipate
When I ask people for something they are more willing to assist.
The story that I make up in my head anticipates the outcomes to be much worse than they actually are.

My story tells me that I am being a burden, I am bothering them and so on.
It is just a story which perpetuates my resistance and stuckness.

Even with these reminders and lessons, I slipped up!

On Day 19, I disappointed myself.
I didn’t stretch myself.

I had an opportunity but didn’t realize it until the moment passed and it was too late.
I let resistance, hesitation take over. UGH!!

It was even worse when as soon as the moment passed the image that came to mind was that shaking head and the words of reminder "courage over comfort".

What the opportunity was is not as important as how I felt once the moment passed; once I saw the image and heard those words.

Disappointment sunk in.
The "I should have’s" & the "you could have’s" came up.

I literally had to take my thoughts for a walk.
Even with the darkened clouds and rain threatening, I needed to take the thoughts of breaking my commitment to myself; of letting some form of fear take over, out for a stroll.

I needed to let them go.

Deep breathing, focusing on my external environment were some techniques used to re-set my thoughts.

The resolve - continue to play the game, perhaps a bigger game and to add an extra day.
No worries!

I share all of this with you:

To encourage you to intentionally pursue something that takes you out of your zone of comfort.
Even if it is just one day a week, commit to doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Something that you perceive as big or small.
Just one thing!
I guarantee you that you will feel the growth in yourself right away.
You will experience a sense of satisfaction that will inspire you to expand yourself in other ways.

To acknowledge, t
here are times when we will disappoint ourselves.
Wallowing in it serves no purpose.
Identifying what to do differently and move on does.
Remember progress, not perfection.

Tomorrow is a new day and I have the opportunity to start again with a fresh perspective and more opportunities to expand my zone of comfort and do different!

How about you?

"Wish It. Dream it! Do it!

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Nancy Smith
Vibrant You Coaching
"Faith, Focus, Finish"
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Vibrant You Health Coaching, 2201 Palmer Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801, United States
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