Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

marktwainI often write about the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone.  We don't grow if we stay small and safe.  We walk around in fear of the unknown and resist taking the steps that might change our lives.  This happens in all areas of our lives... work, relationships, health, etc.  More often than not we maintain the status quo and keep fear silently leading our lives.


Throughout my life I've pushed myself to take a variety of risks and stepped outside of my comfort zone quite a few times.  From filing bankruptcy to starting my business, sometimes I've just had to suck it up and do it! I've been terrified, but never felt foolish.  I would say I tend to take calculated risks.  I learn what I need to, do some research and then leap! Of course the risk doesn't always lead me to where I had imagined, but they do keep me moving forward and closer to the life I desire to have.


Something I've learned about taking risks is people around won't understand. Although you may have people in your life that want the best for you, they wish you happiness and success, they still might not get what you are doing when you step outside your comfort zone. Why? Because they are just like everyone else, trying to stay safe and your risk taking might trigger their issues or fears.  I have found that when I have taken various risks in my life, many people thought I was nuts, doing the wrong thing, or simply just didn't get it.  I get we all want to make sure the people we care about are safe, but the problem is safety can keep our worlds and lives small.


Stepping out of your comfort zone obviously isn't easy.  You are looking fear in the face and saying I am not going to keep doing things this way.  Fear's response, "Okay fine, but here are all the reasons you should stick with me".  Fear is great at keeping us in uncertainty and doubt.  Fear doesn't want us to grow or expand.  Then you add to that people in your life that are speaking your fears and hello "what the hell am I doing?" kicks in.  Since fear is strong and risks are scary you need good people around you that are cheering you on. You need to find those people that don't speak what your fear is saying, but instead rally for you to do what you need to do…get to the other side of fear. If you don't have those people in your life, you must find the strength within you to trust your instincts and keep moving beyond your comfort zone!


So I recently had an experience with stepping outside of my comfort zone.  And all the above things went through my mind.  The "what ifs", "am I crazy", "do other people think, do, act, say this", "can I trust myself"….and so on.  While those fears were loud and clear there was something pulling me to take the risk anyway.  Crazy intuition.  It's that "you just know you must do it" feeling, there really isn't a choice.  Why the hell not…just take a damn chance.  History has shown me in my world/life that when I take a risk and trust my gut it ends up pretty awesome.  When I act in fear, doubt, ask other's opinions, overanalyze, etc I end up staying stuck or making a decision that doesn't lead me to where I want to be.


People and experiences always come into your lives for a reason.  We must jump at the opportunity to have a chance at the life we know we deserve.  Is it scary? Yes! Is it worth it? Hell yea! At some point in life, you need to get out of your own way and realize what you truly deserve.  You must stop settling for BS and start saying yes to what is good for you.  Being a human is tough…we are hard wired to repeat dysfunctional relationship patterns and stay safe, but our true desires require that we change, grow, challenge and risk. It's a fight to accept, embrace and go after what you deserve.  It seems silly that this stuff would be hard but it is for most of us.


Think about what you want out of life and then find small ways each day to go after it.  What's the alternative? To wake up one day and think, "I should have _____."  Believe you deserve happiness and success. Don't settle for less.  If you step out of your comfort zone I promise you will be in awe at the life waiting for you.  You get to define your happiness...what are you doing today that pulls you forward into the unknown and towards a life that makes things bigger & brighter?


“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain