I’m excited for today’s post, in part because I’m writing it for me as much as for anyone else. I want to be a person who lives fearlessly, who is up for anything, and who doesn’t let insecurity hold me back from living this beautiful thing called life. Anyone else?
So what does getting out of our comfort zone have to do with that? Simply this: when we practice doing things that make us uncomfortable or nervous, we usually find out that:
It’s not as horrific as our imaginations would lead us to believe.
We bolster our self-esteem when we accomplish something challenging and figure out that YES. WE. CAN.
We are able to look back on how brave we were and feel a continued sense of pride and accomplishment. Woot!
Everyone’s “comfort zone” is different – if you’re an adrenaline junkie, me telling you to go skydiving isn’t going to move you anywhere you haven’t already been. Only you know what will and what won’t. In that spirit, the first few items on the list are designed to get you thinking about what that would be for you.
Also, a quick disclaimer: Don’t do anything that’s actually dangerous. Use common sense, Besties! (Though if you’re like me, you can feel a sense of accomplishment from making it through a PG-13 horror movie, so this perhaps goes without saying. UGH. Unless it’s Ghostbusters, don’t even talk to me about it!)
– When have you said: “I could never do that!” about something someone else has done. Why not give it a try and see if you can?
– Who do you admire for their bravery? What brave things do they do that you admire?
– What situations make you nervous? Why? Do something that makes you a little nervous.
– What situations do you definitely try to avoid? Put yourself in a situation you would typically avoid (again, safely. I’m talking more about a public speaking opportunity, and less about doing something cray and ending up in the hospital, mmmkay?).
– Try a new food.
– Visit a place you have never been before.
– Take a class of some sort. Bonus points if you do it without a friend.
– Rearrange a room of your house.
– Post a brave photo on social media. For example, you without makeup, or in your sweats, or not perfectly posed but simply enjoying life.
– If you still need some ideas, here are several more specific ones: Teach yourself a new skill, begin volunteering with a population you don’t necessarily gravitate towards, start a conversation with someone who has different opinions than you (do more listening than talking), go out to eat by yourself (and put your phone away), try a new type of exercise, speak positive affirmations to yourself in the mirror for no less than 3 minutes.
So who’s feeling brave? It’s ok if you’re also having heart palpitations. I’m over here thinking about singing karaoke and traveling somewhere by myself and I’ve got a bit of a cold sweat happening myself. I’m relating quite a bit with Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend’s Wedding:
Fear not, my Besties. If Cameron can get through “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” unscathed, I think we can all do something that pushes us out of our comfort zones and live to tell the tale.
If you’ve been feeling less than brave or downright anxious lately, feel free to email me. I’d love to help you overcome your fears with a FaceTime, Skype or phone therapy session or two. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork