Pushing outside my comfort zone makes me very uncomfortable at times. At first, I feel as though I’m going to run away, hide, cry, or puke, when an opportunity arrives for me to be more of my gutsy, badass, sassy self. I assumed that my 'OMG, I feel like I might die' feelings would go away permanently as I expanded my comfort zone. So far, it hasn’t exactly worked that way. It’s because there’s always challenges for growth, learning, and authentic self-expression. I notice that when those 'OMG' feelings still arise within me, it's a sign that I’m about to venture into new territory, someplace I’ve never been before. In truth, I usually know that I’ll be okay, once I get past my initial jitters.
A friend recently asked me if feeling scared could be a message that I’m not meant to do something. I agreed that it’s important to listen to your fears. For example, I don’t have any current plans to go skydiving, despite my history as a daredevil, mountain bike racing chick. Yet, even if I really wanted to go jump out of an airplane, I know I’d learn some important safety information. Things would be explained in a step-by-step fashion and my confidence would be bolstered. I’m sure that it would turn out just fine, with me having all limbs intact. But, the idea of going skydiving really terrifies me. So, it’s a no go. I don’t want to exhaust my courage muscles doing something that doesn’t make my heart sing.
It’s not for the faint of heart to share more of your true self with the world. Speaking of the heart, if you feel any fears about doing something new, check in with yours and ask yourself the following: 'If it weren’t for my fears, would I still do this?' If you find yourself answering 'no', is it because a different dream or goal calls to you more right now? Consider too, that the timing of your new venture may not be right for you. Maybe you'll take action later. This is okay. If you answered 'yes', next ask yourself: What type of support do I need to make it happen for me? Support can be an important key in getting out of your comfort zone.
It can be helpful to have a person who loves you remind you of your past bravery. My tendency is to be hard on myself, feeling at times that I don’t do enough to further my passions and purpose. I recently enlisted a kind soul to help me to remember my courageous side. After a thoughtful inventory, I noticed I had been on a mission toscare myself sassy during the past few years.
So far, so good. I’ve taken a burlesque dance class. I wrote a kick-ass book proposal that helped me to get a book deal. These have been the main healing breakthroughs for me, learning how to express myself more. Currently, I’m working on releasing blocks related to public singing and guitar playing, as well as making video blogs. Even the idea of doing these things scares the bejesus out of me, but I do them anyway. If I continue to hide myself, I won’t have fun or make my dreams a reality. My main strategy for letting go of my fears has been to just allow myself to feel like the new, awkward girl in school, even giggling at my errors. Life is too short to worry about what others think of me. When one woman is brave, it gives other women the permission and inspiration to do similarly. The world needs more women to rock the world, so flexing courage muscles is not something I take lightly. I do it for me, but truthfully, I do it for all of womankind.
Really, there are no mistakes, just learning. Allow the process of scaring yourself to be gentle for you. I recommend maximizing the amount of hugs, cheerleading, and moral support you receive. Treat yourself to something sparkly to celebrate your accomplishments. So often, I’ve noticed that as women, we push ourselves, without taking time to chillax or celebrate our wins. Let the love in because you deserve it. You will be okay, more than okay. You will rock, I know it.