How many of you have ever held back because you felt that doing something new or "risky" might be out of your "comfort" zone? The concept of a comfort zone seems so appealing and conjures in our minds a place of safety and harmony.
However, this may be a dangerous space. I believe being in our comfort zone really means we are stuck. Think about it. T.S. Elliot said, "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
By allowing ourselves to stay in our comfort zone, we often miss out on new and exciting opportunities to grow and expand our horizons. Did you ever ask yourself what makes you so uncomfortable about trying something new or different? I find most people say that they fear looking silly, failing, being left alone or concerned about what others might think of them. They assume something negative will come out of the experience. Change is good, and it's even better when we are in the driver's seat. So really go for it! Challenge yourself to identify what is holding you back. Once we can look this fear in the eye, it is easier to deal with it.
So, I encourage you to get out of your routine and try something different. You can start to get unstuck by doing new things. I would suggest that you set a high goal for yourself, like writing a book, starting that business you have always yearned to run, taking an improv class, moving or visiting a new place. Or do something simple like changing your daily routine. If you usually stop for coffee at a particular coffee shop, try a new one and try some new food while you are there. If you usually go to sleep early, try staying up later. Take a class in a subject that you would never have taken in the past.
Say yes to the most outrageous event that you have ever heard about.
Regardless of whatever new thing you try, stick with it and remember to laugh at yourself. You'll be surprised how much fun change can be and you may even discover something new and wonderful about yourself.
Kathy McShane is managing director of Ladies Who Launch, Connecticut. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or ladieswholaunch.com.outhwestct.