I recently came across this phrase and it rang out loud and clear.
"Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone."
I thought of the times in my own life, both professional and personal, when I felt most alive. It has often been when I blew past a comfort zone, held my breath, and stepped into action.
It's exciting to see my clients do the very same thing week after week. The confidence that comes as a result of their bolder actions is astounding.
To use a swimming pool as a metaphor, the deck around the pool is their comfort zone. When ready to step beyond their comfort zone, they cautiously stick their toe in the water. If it's frigid, they may not be ready to move forward.
Some clients don't waste time with this initial step of testing the water; they dive into the pool trusting themselves to handle whatever comes their way. Others cling onto the side, moving out of their comfort zone inch by inch. Either way works as long as you are moving forward.
It's exhilarating to do today what you were unwilling or unable to do yesterday. And the next time, it will be even easier with this newly-found confidence.
How do you know when it's the right time to move outside of your comfort zone? You just know it.
Something is stirring inside of you, driving you forward.
The problem is that our mind gets in the way with comforting or fearful inner chatter:
- What if this doesn't go as planned?
- What will people think?
- What if I fail or look silly?
- What if, what if, what if, what if???
Here are some counter-point responses I've heard after clients step successfully outside of their comfort zone.
- It didn't go as planned. It turned out even better!
- Who cares what people think? I did it, and I feel so alive!
- The most surprising people congratulated me on my idea!
- My boss's boss asked me to lunch!
Sometimes, your results from stepping outside of your comfort zone will be better than imagined; other times, it will be a great learning opportunity.
To really live your life, you need to take risks. If you admire those who have done so yet you have held yourself back, then this is your week to step into action.
What idea have you been mulling over in your mind - something that is a little scary for you but will enhance you life, your business, or those around you? Make the call, set the appointment, or write the proposal.
I am not asking you to take uncalculated risks, just to move forward where you are holding yourself back in order to experience more 'life' in your days.