Looking back at the month that was January, the only way I could describe what I feel about it is that I am out of my comfort zone and I am loving it. I decided at the end of last year that this year was going to be one of growth and pushing myself further than I have ever been. It had to be different, I have had some success in the past but this year I wanted to be more focused on how I carry out my life. I want to push my limits a bit further. I’m choosing not to be lazy about what I need to do but to put the necessary time and effort.
I started the year reading Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere and this book is the real deal. It is a wonderful book charging women to arise just like the lioness and change their world. It speaks to women at a very personal level, addressing the setbacks women have faced for ages in the church as well as in society. She lays out very practical strategies for women to arise and take leadership positions while encouraging collaboration rather than competition with men. By the time you are halfway through the book, you can feel the lioness in you arising and taking her rightful position. The book is so beautifully written, if you haven’t read it yet, you should grab the Kindle version here and read on the go. After reading this book, I honestly can’t wait to get a hold of Lisa’s other books.
I think I’m a little over-excited about this book but here is the point, the Lioness Arising really reinforced the goals I had set to push my boundaries. To go further than I have ever been before so that I can achieve goals that I have not achieved before. January was just the beginning, it was not easy but it was very exciting. I picked many lessons from January and here are the top five to help you break out of the comfort zone in your own life.
How to get out of the comfort zone
1. Just start
Usually(in my comfort zone), I do not start things until I have it ‘all’ figured out. Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult to do anything significant because some things cannot be figured out. In January, I made the decision to just start. If I want/need to do something and I do not know much about it, I start and then learn along the way.
I had to stop dreaming and planning and actually start doing, and I did. As a matter of fact, I did not know much about blogging until I started. There is also a lot that I have learned which I would never have known if I had not started. There is still a lot more to learn but I’m on the journey, learning as we go. You have to convert your thoughts into actions or they just remain dreams.
2. Make that decision
I consciously made decisions, some were good and a few were amiss but I made decisions and I loved it. Here is the thing, I’m a very analytical person, (which is awesome, by the way) but sometimes I overdo it and my analysis just ends up being indecision. Sometimes it’s the other way round, the ‘over-analysis’ is a product of indecision.
Early last month I realized how terrible my indecision was when I spent 3 days researching so that I could make a decision that should have taken me 30 minutes to make. It is important to research but I could not believe that I had wasted a whopping 3 days because of my indecision, something had to give. My indecision in itself was a decision and a terrible one for that matter. I had to break out of this comfort zone.
It is said that change happens when the pain of remaining the same is more than the pain of change. This was that moment for me, I made a decision to change. I posted a note on my vision board that reminds to make decisions every single day. I haven’t looked back since. I have been making those decisions and my life is enriched.
3. Give yourself permission to fail
You can be so afraid of failing that you don’t try anything new. You want to stay in the familiar because if you break out of the comfort zone then you might fail. I have realized that the only way to get out the comfort zone and step into a more challenging environment is by overcoming the fear of failure. So I gave myself permission to fail.
I decided that it was okay for me to fail, I don’t have to be perfect. I’m willing to fail my way to success. I aim for success, but if I fail that will still be part of my success journey. I’ve been so afraid of failing that sometimes I just do nothing so that I don’t fail at anything. Not anymore. In the last month and in the times ahead, I’m going a little easy on myself.
I failed a couple times in the last month, but I got up, dusted myself and kept moving. I’m actually becoming more thankful for failure because some of my greatest lessons have come from moments of failure. I’m choosing to thrive in every season.
4. Pay attention to yourself
Why do you do what you do? I’m paying attention to myself. Taking care of my needs as well as taking responsibility for my shortcomings. When I speak I listen to myself, I ask myself why I say what I say, why I feel the way I feel and I’m also watching my self-talk. I’m trying to understand myself better. If you don’t understand yourself, who will?
I have learned to be truly present, whether happy or sad, I have to be present in that moment. I cannot become a better person if I do not know the person I’m. Pay attention to yourself, believe you me, it makes a difference. I’m a better person than I was 30 days ago and that makes me really happy.
5. Stretch yourself
I resolved to try out new things and I did, it feels amazing. Tell you what, every time I did something that stretched me, I was thrilled. We (my 2-year-old and I) even came up with a happy dance for every time I do something uncomfortable. I’m motivated to try out more so that we have an excuse to just keep dancing together – the prince loves it.
Stretching myself meant going the extra mile. Knowing it would be hard for me but doing it anyway. Knowing that I was scared but doing it anyway. The greatest reward has been growth, slowly but surely.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You cannot reach levels you have not been before without doing things you haven’t done before.” quote=”You cannot reach levels you have not been before without doing things you haven’t done before.”]
There is nothing quite like growing not just in age but in knowledge, in wisdom and in accomplishment. But you wouldn’t know that if you don’t take time to reflect and take stock of your life. Having written my goals at the beginning of the year and my daily goals, it was easy to go through them each day and adjust when I was losing track. You can find the article I wrote about setting and accomplishing goals here.
I’m looking forward to the coming month. Pushing a little harder and expecting even greater things. Yes, I’m out of my comfort zone and I’m loving it!
I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below.
With love and light,