Excited to share a new series with you today, “Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone”. Have been thinking on this idea for about a month as my 60th birthday approaches. My vision for this series is to push myself out of my comfort zone so that I begin doing things that I have until now been scared or uncomfortable to try. Nothing illegal – ha – or too crazy! Probably won’t be sky diving, but maybe scuba diving? Have no interest in the former but would love to try the latter. I want to try barre classes. This winter I want to learn to make tamales. Learning to master Sudoku. Those are the kinds of things I am thinking. Nothing to wild and crazy.
For the most part, I have played things fairly ‘safe’ over the last six decades. That is, with the exception of throwing all caution and common sense to the wind with some of my previous marriages. My mom was just saying today that whenever our family would go somewhere when we were children, my sister, brother and I would all stand right beside her, holding onto the hem of her dress. We were that shy. And that sheltered.
So, I figure now’s the time to shake things up a bit.
Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone
Recently came across a couple of articles about the benefit of doing something that scares you every day. Sounded a little sadistic to me at first. But when I read more, it began to make sense.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said,
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ [source]
For years, when I was faced with the possibility of doing something difficult, or unfamiliar, I would bolster myself by remembering I had two babies through natural childbirth. Without any anesthesia what-so-ever. And if I could do that and live to brag about it, I could do anything. But doing something that scares you seems contradictory to our body and mind’s natural inclination to keep us from potential harm.
Remember the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’? Well, it can be applied to our fears.
Facing and Overcoming Our Fears
According to an article on Help Scout by Emily Triplett Lentz entitled “The Value of Doing Things That Scare You,” the best way to eliminate fear is to expose yourself to those things you are afraid of. I am not really interested in doing things that scare me as much as I am interested in doing things that push me beyond my comfort zone. Help me to grow. Help me to let go of the hem of my mother’s dress.
And the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone are many. Some of them are listed in this Life Hacker article, “The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should)” by Alan Henry. Stepping outside of your comfort zone:
- leads to improved productivity
- makes handling unexpected change and new experiences easier
- it’s causes a domino effect, where it becomes easier to push yourself in the future
- strengthens brainstorming abilities for finding solutions to life’s challenges
- enhances creativity
- enriches life and broadens your horizons
- feeds your brain
How to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Start with baby steps.
I am not thinking of repelling down the Franklin Mountain side tomorrow morning. But I might take a new route to the airport for my trip to Houston. Allowing time in case I get lost or stuck in traffic, of course.
Next time I go grocery shopping, I might start on the opposite side of the store. Eww, really don’t like that idea, but it would be good for me. And if I have a list to follow, I won’t leave til I have everything on my list. And I’ll pack a snack in case I’m in there for hours!
Instead of planning weekend activities with PC, maybe we will just get up on Saturday and see where the day takes us. Make a few snap decisions. Act on impulse. Visiting new places, even a new restaurant or cultural event, is one of the best ways to broaden your perspectives.
Maybe baby steps will be all I ever take but at least I will be moving forward rather than staying put in a mire of the familiar.
So, you know PC is still working in Germany. Well, I decided to step out of my comfort zone this past week by doing some things alone.
I drove the 250 miles each way to and home from Albuquerque with my kitties in the car. Snapped this photo just as I realized Purrsnickitty was using her bed as a litter box.
I attended the March for Our Lives on Saturday.
Went to see the movie “Love, Simon” alone, the subject matter was a little uncomfortable for me. But it made me think. Always a good thing.
And I attended the Femme Frontera film festival at the University of Texas, El Paso, all by my lonesome. It looks like I was the only one in the audience but I wasn’t. Just got there early which was completely out of my comfort zone in itself.
Not the best photos in the world (understatement) but I just snapped them to document these activities. Thinking plastic surgery on that neck might be something I could investigate…definitely out of my comfort zone but definitely needed. Thanks, cervical surgeries.
Pretty sure all of this was prompted by the fear/promise of my upcoming birthday. And the fact that I am not working right now/possibly any more. I need to fill my time with things that will continue to help me grow and stay young at heart.
A few of my bestest blogging buds are joining me on this journey. One of them, Natalie from Natalie the Explorer, wrote a similar post, recently. It’s a great read. Check it out, here. We would love to have you come along, too. If you blog, please link-up an post about how you are stepping out of your comfort zone.
And if you aren’t a blogger, you can share your new experiences in a comment below. This is going to be good for us, girls. Hope you will join us again on 04.30 when we will share our progress.
Thank you, sweet friends, for cheering me on and walking by my side for this journey called life.
Hugs and kisses,