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3.06.2012

expanding your horizons.

Have you ever wanted to try something new but never got the courage to actually do it? Like taking a new class at the gym, trying out a new running route, traveling somewhere new, trying out a different church or religion, going skydiving, going out to dinner alone, giving a presentation at work about a new idea, eating a new cuisine, auditioning for a talent show, or submitting a piece to your local newspaper?

Every day we are given opportunities to break free of our comfort zone to do something different. We too often chicken out. We can't stand the idea of failure or embarrassment. In turn, those thoughts encourage us to live only within the familiar, rather than taking a risk. And it's only human to feel that way.

Let's step back for a moment and consider times we have been more or less forced to partake in something new. The first day at a job. The start of a semester at school. Moving to a new living situation. A trip to visit family in a location previously unvisited. An essential business trip to visit a client across the country.

For these types of adventures, we aren't really given a choice. We may feel uneasy, ill, shaky, flustered, or scared, but typically once we've actually jumped into it, that fearful feeling will subside. We adjust and become comfortable to a certain extent. Other times, we never quite reach that point. We fulfill expectations and then may choose to take another path instead. That new path may mean retreating back to the familiar, or it may require being back at square one; standing face to face with a different something new. We embrace routine so much as a society, that we give anything to get back to "normalcy" as quickly as possible once we've been forced [or fallen] off track.

I bring these forced efforts to step outside of our comfort zone to the forefront because these are things we've all had to do in our lives. We've had to make major transitions, whether between schools, jobs, relationships, or lifestyles. And guess what? We all made it to the other side. As previously mentioned, the process may have felt uneasy and downright scary at the time, but we did it. But, why is it that once we're given the individual choice to try something new do we hesitate so much? If we know it will all be okay in the end, what continues to stop us dead in our tracks?

Fear.

It's something we should strive to conquer.

Beyond anything else, we need to remember one thing. Every single one of us was the newbie, the rookie, and the beginner once. Each one of those people you see doing something you may be a little scared to try, was in your shoes once. They walked into something on day one with that same feeling of fear and discomfort. They too didn't do things perfectly the first time around. They too experienced a period of "unroutine," and lived outside of their comfort zone. But look at those people now- comfortable at the once new job, in the once new workout class, in the once new neighborhood, with the once new coworkers, in the once new classes, in the once new relationship, and in any other once new experience. Now those once new things are familiar and mundane. Even if these once new things don't permanently become established in our lives, they serve as great learning experiences and provide potential for individual growth.

Stop limiting yourself to things that are familiar and routine. You are losing too many opportunities to find a new hobby, establish a new relationship, land a new job, push yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually, and otherwise find new passions. Life is too short not to seek fortunes outside of your comfort zone. You won't know what you're missing out on until you try. Go try.

3 comments:

Bunnie said...

love this!!!!

I loved the first pic when I saw it the other day!!

http://www.angela2bunnie.blogspot.com

ms.composure said...

stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to leave you a little blog luv! Def enjoyed this post!! New Follower :-)

http://infinitelifefitness.com
http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

Kallee Mae said...

I found your blog through Ashlee's blog! What a fun blog you have I will def be following! I'd love for you to check out mine!
Kal
www.kalleemae.blogspot.com