What is holding you back? Are you wishing for something, hoping for something, wanting to try something new? Are you afraid, are you scared, are you tucked away in your comfort zone afraid to step out of it? It’s safe there, its cozy, it is tucked away from the outside world and you know what to expect there. But what if what you are wanting is right outside that cozy circle. What if you could step out of your comfort zone and tackle your goals, reach your dreams, even just make small changes? It’s not easy but it is possible.
This time of year, headed toward the end of February we start to look at the goals we had at the beginning of the year and we are either excited about where we are or feeling a little let down. I was never a big goal setter, and have always been a little afraid of change.
Over the past few years though, I’ve tried to remedy that. I’ve tried to become someone who doesn’t let their fears hold them back, who doesn’t get stuck in my comfort zone afraid to leave it. But that can be so hard can’t it? Even things we want to do, new fun things, or things that can improve our lives, it can be hard to branch away from where we are comfortable.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I don’t even know why I hesitate to do something new. For years I wanted to take yoga. The schedule fit in with mine, the class is close by, I even know the instructor…. I had no reason not to just go. But I didn’t. I couldn’t tell you why? Something was holding me back. You can always find an excuse, too busy, not feeling well… they are always there. And your comfort zone is there… it says, “why leave, you’re happy here, why do you want to change anything?”
This year we started a new homeschool group… one where almost everyone already knew each other, and I was only acquantinces with a couple of them….I had been looking for a new group and was hopeful this one would be a great fit… but I was still nervous to take the leap and join in.
So what do we do when faced with our comfort zone telling us to stay put, but wanting to make changes?
First- Know your why! – This is a great way to motivate yourself for a lot of things. If you’re setting a goal, if you’re trying something new, saving money, loosing weight…. it’s a great key to success. Why are you doing it? Why do you want to take that yoga class, join that group? Why do you want to loose weight, change your schedule… whatever your goal is? Maybe it’s big, maybe you want to go back to school, buy a new house! Write it down. Write down all the reasons! When you get to that point of wanting change you usually have a pretty clear why, you wan’t to be able to remind yourself when you start to feel your comfort zone drawing you back in.
Second- Take baby steps! – You don’t have to jump out of your comfort zone like a sky diver, or even take a leap. You can take baby steps! Take that thing you want and figure out what small steps you can take with relative comfort. We’ll take the yoga class example. Maybe do some workouts at home before joining a class. Find a beginner class before jumping into a more challenging one. Ask the instructor if they offer a private lesson to maybe get the feel before you jump into a class. For most things there’s that one baby step out side your comfort zone toward what you want that you can take with relative safety.
Third- Use the buddy system! – Do you know what finally got me to a yoga class? My mom. She wanted to start going and asked me to go with her. When you’re trying something new sometimes it helps to have another beginner with you! Maybe a friend who wants to try the same thing or has the same goals. Buddy up and help coax each other out of your comfort zone!
Fourth- Give yourself a pep talk!- You can do it! You want this! It might be scary but it’s worth it! Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you can do it!! It sounds silly, but it works! Psych yourself up and then take that step!!!
Fifth- Stop caring what other people think!!– Ok so I wrote a whole post about this a couple weeks ago. Because, quite frankly, it’s what holds so many people back! What will people think if I change jobs, dye my hair purple, try to loose weight??? Will they talk about me, will they judge me? Here’s what I say (Turn away if curse words offend you) Fuck’em. Yep. It’s that simple! Anyone who would judge you, question what you’re doing, or make you feel bad about it doesn’t deserve to be in your thoughts! We all have to do what is best for us, and understand that while other people might not agree with what we’re doing it is not their life to live!
I know this advice seems simple, seems like common sense, but I also know how easy it can be to slip back into what we’re comfortable doing and stay there… even when we’re uncomfortable with the results! So take those steps, reach for your goals and desires, and kiss that comfort zone good-bye!