Recently I was introduced to this phrase that really gave me pause,
“There is nothing special in our lives, that isn’t outside of our comfort zone.”
Chew on that for a while…truth?
As I went down the list of all that was special to me, the frontrunners were those that didn’t come easy, those I worked tirelessly for, and that happened despite adversity and the overwhelming odds stacked against me.
An education I could not afford, a job I was highly unqualified for, my now husband who was way above my social class, 1, 2, then 3 children I wasn’t prepared for…and the list goes on.
Two years ago, a great career opportunity for my husband moved us away from the comfortable, familiar life I loved. My friends, an active social life, and my office culture were in the rear-view mirror.
I was a pregnant, thirty-something, full-time working mother of soon-to-be 3. In what universe was I going to have the time and energy to rebuild that life?
So I made excuses and wallowed in my whoa-is-me pity party for months, prolonged by a heavy helping of post-partum depression.
Basically friendless and uncommitted, I started hanging out with…myself.
At first, it felt pretty low and sad. In time, it felt AMAZING.
My time (outside the fam) was my own to do whatever I wanted to do.
I learned to sew. I took up hot yoga. I volunteered at a retirement home. Started going to essential oil classes. I learned to meditate. Picked up writing and listening to various podcasts. I entered the world of social media. I started this blog…
Slowly, the light inside began to flicker again, and instead of feeling like the transition was the worst thing that could have happened to me, it felt like a fresh start and a chance to reinvent myself.
It was uncomfortable and overwhelming at times, but also exciting and freeing.
At the other end of my comfort zone, was a new chapter, a new beginning, and a whole layer to myself I was almost too scared, too comfortable, to discover.
I challenge you with these 5 actions to bring on your own transformation:
1. Make yourself a priority
This was forced on me, but if I would have known that a little ME-time would have led to where I am now, I would have done it a lot sooner.
Often we become overscheduled and overridden with the commitments we have made to others. We lose sight of who we are and what we want, putting our identity and our own dreams on hold. We listen to the thoughts and visions of others letting that shape our path and forget to listen to our own gut and voice.
Reintroduce yourself, to yourself. Get to know yourself again, away from the noise of life. Learn to say no and to make yourself one of your top priorities.
Be alone. Ask deep questions. Reflect.
What do YOU want? Does your life look like how you imagined it? What do you want it to look like in 5 years? What would you do right now if you had a free day? What have you always wanted to do, but haven’t had the time?
Let it feel weird and uncomfortable. That’s how you know you are inching away from the comfort zone and onto something amazing.
2. Ask How
Stop feeling sorry for yourself and making excuses. Stop telling yourself all the reasons why your goal can’t happen, hasn’t happened, or won’t happen.
Instead, spend the energy on asking yourself – HOW can I make this happen?
What little thing can I do today, that will lead me one step closer to where I want to be or wish I was?
3. Change your Environment
For me, I moved to another state. Hardly suggesting something so drastic, but shake it up a bit.
It could be as simple as taking a different route to work. Hang out at a different Starbucks or lunch spot, take a class at local community college, volunteer, or actually go to the gym you have been paying for months without attending.
Simple changes in the environment around you will bring in new experiences and therefore new inspiration.
Most important, wherever you land, make sure you are surrounded by positive people that lift you up, not tear you down.
4. Follow your curiosities.
Be childlike in your pursuits. Don’t overthink it. Don’t over analyze. Don’t research it to death. Don’t wait for New Years to make a change. Just do it!
Seek to learn something new and be open to experiences outside of your normal-every-day.
You never know where it could lead, so just follow.
5. Count your blessings
Gratitude may just be the answer to everything. It gives such a profound perspective on life that single-handedly has transforming, life-changing power.
When you realize all you have to be thankful for, your heart opens.
When your heart is open, anything is possible.
These 5 actions have made me a better wife, mother, friend and event planner. I am a better ME – with purpose, hope, strength, happiness, and determination.
Move aside comfort zone, the next chapter is about to start, FOR YOU.
What are you going to do first?