Stepping out of our comfort zone deliberately can be a great way to challenge ourselves and what better time to challenge ourselves and use the energy of a New Year. When we choose to step out of the comfort zone, there is a certain amount of ‘being prepared for the discomfort’, in other words be ‘comfortable being uncomfortable’.
The best thing about deliberately choosing to step out of your comfort zone is you give yourself the opportunity to expand, to become more than you thought you were, to do more than you thought you could do.
Most of my various careers have been as a result of being challenged to be in my ‘discomfort zone’. I didn’t know I had a voice and could sing until one day I was offered the opportunity to sing - with a 22 piece big band no less! I belted out 3 jazz standards in front of 500 people at a Hilton ballroom after one rehearsal with the pianist. My boss at the time said, ‘how long have you been singing?’ I nervously replied ‘about 5 minutes…’ You see I naively thought everyone could sing, I just figured I hadn’t grown out of the ‘singing into a hairbrush fantasy’! What I discovered was my voice, and along with that, I was given the opportunity to discover what else I didn’t know I could do and a new career blossomed as a result.
This has been the pattern for me, I’ve learnt as I went along, I’ve done things I never knew I could do until I did it, I would never have found out I was singer if I hadn’t said 'yes' (with some gentle nudging from a dear friend).
Exploring our self-imposed view of ourselves, or the boundaries other people place on you, can lead to discovering the ‘more of you’ that may be hidden. I find as we get older that it’s easy to think that ‘this is all there is to me’ and we shrink back from trying anything new.
Lack of confidence and fear of failure hold us back from ‘daring greatly’ as Brene Brown’s book delightfully puts it. Daring greatly requires us to be vulnerable; to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, the end result is you just may find there’s more to you than you think!
This month I am stepping out of my comfort zone big time, trust you will continue to join me on the ride!