Ahhh…the comfort zone. That comfy familiar place where we feel safe. Here we can kick back, relax and pat ourselves on the back. Livin’ seems easy…but there is an underlying restlessness as if something is missing.
Is this the comfort zone or…are we “zoning out”?
Recently, I was asked to do a keynote talk at an international coaching conference and was surprised to realize I was more unnerved than usual. Talking in front of large groups is my “comfort zone”. In fact I love it. Being uncomfortable rather than excited at the prospect of doing this talk was confusing until I realized that I had gotten into a comfort zone with my public speaking and this talk was challenging me at a new level. A level that really was what I wanted.
As an ADHD / business coach, mentor and trainer, I am constantly asking my clients two things – what is their purpose and what are their values. For most of us, our purpose and values are what motivate us. They are the foundation and blueprint for what’s important for us. They are the basis for the choices we make and the actions we take and they are not really good at kicking back and playing it safe. They challenge us to live the fullest life possible. When we are living in a way that honors our values and is on path with our life purpose, we feel passionate, enthusiastic, and satisfied with our lives. Things feel in balance.
The journey to living authentically and connecting with your values and purpose can also feel incredibly uncomfortable.
Or if you are like me downright scary! When we step out of our comfort zone, into our life, there is going to be fear. It’s normal. Fear of being seen. Fear of not doing it right. Fear of not being liked. Fear of failing anything and everything. Excuses for not making the change start popping up out of nowhere as those darn pesky negative thoughts run rampant.
So what do you do when you realize your purpose and values really are much too big to fit inside that comfort zone? When you know that if you don’t change or grow, you aren’t living authentically.
Pause. I take a deep breath and have what I call a “coming to Jesus” moment when I ask myself these questions: 1. How do I need to honor my values? 2. Is staying where I am (a.k.a. the comfort zone) living my purpose? And, 3. Would I expect anything less from my clients who I ask every day to brave the fear and live outside their comfort zone?
So, if you are noticing that you might be feeling a wee bit uncomfortable with a recent change of events that seems to be challenging you, you might want to ask yourself these questions:
1. What is your purpose? What is the change you want to see in the world? Are you living your values authentically? Are you talking about wanting a change, or complaining about a current situation, and not doing something about it? Remember, all we can change is ourselves.
2. If not you, who??? Don’t be swayed by the excuse that you are not ready or that maybe someone else needs to do it. Without your willingness to step into the fear, the current situation will continue for far too long. Or worse, never be resolved. YOU were given this purpose, desire, vision and opportunity for a reason. It is meant for you to do.
3. How does this stepping out align with what is important to me? To my values? Chances are there will be a direct connection between this opportunity and who you really are. In fact, it may even be that there is a part of you that is actually excited and would love to do this new thing.
Now I will tell you a couple secrets to help you take that step outside your comfort zone…I believe we are natural born doers. WE were created and put on this earth to do something. You were born with a purpose and passion meant not just to be felt as a dream, but to experience it coming true.
I also believe that it was not intended for us to fulfill our passion, purpose or dream alone. We are meant to connect with others with a similar destination who bring their unique strengths and gifts to making it come true. They are out there just waiting to join you on this path.
So I challenge you, once you know you need to take that step, find someone to work with. Work in a duo or group. Two heads are better than one, but even more important, two hearts, two minds and four hands make it possible. No one says you have to do it alone.
What are some of the ways you are stepping out of your comfort zone? I would love to hear from you.